Rugby Union


Lions lose Paul O'Connell to injury

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The British and Irish Lions hopes of a series victory over Australia have suffered a blow after it was revealed Paul O'Connell will miss the rest of the tour with a fractured arm.

Irish lock O'Connell, 33, suffered the injury in Saturday's 23-21 first-Test victory and will miss both of the remaining two matches. 

England's Geoff Parling looks set to provide a like-for-like replacement, while Ireland prop Tom Court has been called up as cover for Alex Corbisiero, who is having his fitness monitored.   

However O'Connell, who has featured in seven Lions Tests and captained the tour of South Africa in 2009, could still stay with the squad to provide experience and coaching. 

Leicester forward, Parling, is now the favourite to parter Welshman Alun Wyn-Jones in the second row this weekend, and has been withdrawn from the Lions squad to play Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday. 

Parling had been due to captain the side, but that role will now be given to Wales flanker Dan Lydiate. 

O'Connell, who was an integral part of coach Warren Gatland's plans, will be a big loss to the Lions, but Tuesday's game will provide the New Zealander with the ideal opportunity to rotate his squad and try out some alternate options. 

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.


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Paul O'Connell
British & Irish Lions
Rugby Union

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