Lions centre Riki Flutey has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
The England and London Wasps player still requires treatment on a knee injury he picked up after he came on as a second-half replacement in last weekend’s win over the Royal XV in Phokeng.
Having appeared for Wellington against the Lions on the 2005 tour of New Zealand, Flutey became only the second player to play both for and against the Lions in more than 120 years of touring but he will now have to wait until at least next Wednesday before pulling on the red shirt once more.
Gordon D’Arcy is a possible replacement for Flutey in the Lions’ matchday 22 after the Ireland international took part in full training today following his late call up to the squad.
Although Flutey’s minor setback will disappoint Lions head coach Ian McGeechan, there was better news for the Lions elsewhere in the backline after Keith Earls and Luke Fitzgerald were both passed fit having recovered from respective shoulder and knee / chest infection problems.
Leigh Halfpenny’s arrival in South Africa following rehabilitation on a quad injury back home in Cardiff has also boosted McGeechan’s options ahead of what is expected to be a stern challenge against another Super 14 outfit at Vodacom Park.
"Riki is continuing to get treatment but he won’t be available for this weekend," said Lions assistant coach Graham Rowntree.
"It is important that we get Leigh into the tour, get him on the ground and get him playing.
"D’Arcy will possibly also possibly be in the mix at the weekend, depending on how he is."
McGeechan and tour manager Gerald Davies will name their squad to face the Cheetahs tomorrow, with the side itself and reaction to the selection being posted here on www.lionsrugby.com.