British & Irish Lions 2013: Paul O’Connell ruled out of final two Tests
British & Irish Lions 2013: Ireland lock Paul O'Connell is ruled out of the final two Tests after breaking a bone in his forehand
Paul O’Connell has been ruled out of the rest of the British and Irish Lions tour after sustaining a fracture to his right forearm in 23-21 victory over Australia in first Test.
The 33-year-old, who has featured in seven Lions tests and captained the side in 2009, is expected to be replaced by England’s Geoff Parling for the second Test in Melbourne.
A Lions statement read: “Paul O’Connell has been ruled out of the remaining two games of the series after suffering a fractured arm.”
Parling, 29, has been withdrawn from the Lions team to play Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday and the Red Rose lock is expected to play alongside Wales forward Alun Wyn Jones.
However, Warren Gatland did receive a fitness boost with Ireland full-back Rob Kearney and England centre Manu Tuilagi both set to continue their rehabilitation from injury and start against the Rebels.
“To have Tommy and Manu fit and back is a great compliment to the medical staff,” said Gatland.
“Tommy is fit for Saturday, he’s running, but the more time he has to heal the better.
“The surgeon said that that injury is normally a six to eight-week injury, so to be fit in three weeks is magnificent. It’s important not to risk him on Tuesday.
“We don’t think Jamie is too far away, he’s up and running and is potentially available for next weekend.”
Lions team to play Melbourne Rebels: Rob Kearney, Sean Maitland, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Simon Zebo, Owen Farrell, Conor Murray; Ryan Grant, Richard Hibbard, Dan Cole, Richie Gray, Ian Evans, Dan Lydiate (captain), Sean O’Brien, Toby Faletau.
Replacements: Rory Best, Tom Court, Matt Stevens, Tom Croft, Justin Tipuric, Ben Youngs, Billy Twelvetrees, Stuart Hogg.