Lion to miss Wales Tests

Lions star Lee Byrne has been all but ruled out of the autumn internationals after fracturing his hand. [more]

Lion to miss Wales Tests

Lions star Lee Byrne has been all but ruled out of the autumn internationals after fracturing his hand.

As the only recognised full back in the Wales squad, the 2009 Test Lion looked set to be a certain starter for the four-Test series against Australia, South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand.

But Byrne will now definitely miss the first three of those Tests and only has a slim chance of facing the All Blacks after fracturing the third metacarpal in his right hand during the Ospreys’ defeat to Glasgow Warriors on Sunday.

“Lee will be given a specialist opinion this afternoon on whether his injury is treatable with a cast. If that is the case rather than surgery he will have an outside chance of being back for the All Blacks game,” said Wales physio Mark Davies.

Byrne isn’t the only Welsh Lion with injury problems, either. Both Leigh Halfpenny and Ryan Jones are struggling with ankle and calf problems respectively.

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Halfpenny will wait on the results of a scan today to determine the extent of his injury, while Jones will also have what is being described as a routine scan.

Worryingly for Warren Gatland, Wales also have doubts over the fitness of lock Bradley Davies and scrum-half Richie Rees

“The decision has been taken for Rob (McCusker) to have surgery sooner rather than later to give him a chance of returning to the international scene in time for the Six Nations Championship and therefore bid to make the 2011 Rugby World Cup squad,” added Davies, who has himself toured with the Lions as part of the medical team.

“Leigh (Halfpenny) sustained an injury to his ankle on Saturday, but we are unable to give any more information at the moment other than that he will have a scan to attempt to rule out any significant injury today. Ryan (Jones), Bradley (Davies) and Richie (Rees) will all be scanned as a matter of routine this afternoon.

“Ryan has a calf problem which he picked up in Glasgow yesterday and we will know more over the next 24 hours, but he is not ruled out of the Australia match at the moment.

“Bradley came off on Saturday with an ankle injury, but this should be a minor problem and he will be up and running before the end of the week and Richie also has a minor hamstring injury.”

Young wing sensation George North is in the third week of recovery from a fracture to his fibula and is scheduled for his latest scan this weekend. The 18-year-old squad debutant should be up and running next week.

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