No fans on Lions tour 'a travesty' for Wales captain Jones

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Alun Wyn Jones (R) and Sam Warburton led the Lions to a Test series victory over Australia in 2013

Former British and Irish Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones said on Wednesday that having no spectators during this year's tour of South Africa would be a "travesty."

Doubts over the fixtures have increased due to the situation with the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa where over 1.4 million cases have been recorded and 41,000 deaths reported to date.

Jones, 35, who captained the invitational side in 2013 on the sixth of his nine Test appearance for the Lions, said England's Owen Farrell, Ireland's Johnny Sexton and Scotland's Stuart Hogg all want the tour to happen in 2021.

"It would be travesty if the fans won't be able to go and see it," Jones said at the launch for this year’s Six Nations.

"Having been involved in a few tours it's very special as the fans make it that way. From the captains' point of view, we're all in agreement that if it can it should go ahead this year.

"I think it needs to go ahead this year. The jury's out over where it's going to happen," he said.

There are fears the Six Nations itself could fall victim to Covid-19 delays, which in turn might have a knock-on effect on the Lions.

"I've got enough challenges to focus on on my side, so I've not been involved in the Lions conversation," said Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel.

"Obviously, I'm very well aware of the challenges they are facing and understand the hard decisions that will need to be made, but at the same time we will see relatively soon what is ultimately decided."

Wales skipper Jones has missed seven weeks of action after suffering a knee injury in December's victory over Italy but said he will be fit to host Ireland on February 7.

"I've been up and running for two to three weeks," Jones.

"All that's progressed really well and I'm back in team training so I wait for selection," he added.