First Test injury fall out growing

The injury fall out from the first Test between the Qantas Wallabies and the British & Irish Lions is beginning to take its toll with no fewer than three players now ruled out of the rest of the series. [more]

First Test injury fall out growing

The injury fall out from the first Test between the Qantas Wallabies and the British & Irish Lions is beginning to take its toll with no fewer than three players now ruled out of the rest of the series.

In addition, one more player has definitely been ruled out of Saturday’s second Test in Melbourne and three more are facing fitness checks.

Hot on the heels of the announcement by the Lions that Irish totem Paul O’Connell suffered a fractured arm and will miss the next two weekends came the news from the Australian camp that both centre Pat McCabe and wing Digby Ioane won’t be available for the final two games of the series.

On top of that, full back Berrick Barnes won’t be considered for the game in Melbourne on Saturday after suffering a knock to the head and centres Christian Leali’ifano and Adam Ashley-Cooper will require further tests during the week on their injuries.

The Lions, who play the Melbourne Rebels in their final midweek game tomorrow night, also have a major injury concern over England prop Alex Corbisiero, who damaged his calf during the 23-21 victory in the first Test last weekend in Brisbane.

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“With Corbisiero’s injury we are not quite sure whether he is gong to be back for the weekend or not yet. He is certainly going to be out for tomorrow night, so we need a bit of cover there,” said Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree.

“We will know more in the next 24-48 hours. He did play very well, he stepped up to the challenge very well and he was very accurate in everything he did. We’ve got good cover there with Mako Vunipola.

“It would be a big blow to lose him, but it would be another test for the strength in depth we have in the squad. That strength in depth has not let us down.”

A statement from the Wallabies confirmed that McCabe re-injured his neck in a similar location to an injury first sustained on last year’s end of season tour. He will be seeing specialists in Sydney in the coming days to ascertain the way forward following further scans.

Ioane, who is heading to Europe to join Stade Francais Paris at the end of the season, suffered internal damage to his right shoulder and will also require further follow up scans, with surgery a possibility.

The news on the Queensland Reds wing came at the end of a day in which he had already made headline news in Melbourne after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Ioane was due to appear before city Magistrates during the afternoon on a charge of unlawful assault dating back to the day after his club had beaten the Rebels in Melbourne.

The matter was mentioned in court briefly at 4,00pm after his no-show. The Australian Rugby Union issued the following statement on the incident: “In relation to media reports surrounding Digby Ioane Australian Rugby Union wishes to make the following statement.

“ARU was only made aware late this afternoon of the issue involving Digby Ioane. Since being made aware through media reports, ARU has worked expeditiously with Digby Ioane and Victorian Police to attend to this matter. Digby will report to Victorian Police and will be issued with a revised court date.”

Barnes’ recovery is being managed according to the IRB concussion guidelines and the Wallabies have confirmed he will not be considered for Saturday night’s second Test, although it is hoped he will have recovered in time to be considered for the third game in Sydney.

The news is better for inside centre Leali’ifano, who departed his debut Test on a stretcher after being knocked-out in a tackle on Jonathan Davies after a mere 50 seconds. He is making an excellent recovery after he too sustained concussion and he is expected to be able to be considered for selection for this weekend.

Ashley-Cooper underwent scans on his injured right shoulder after the Test in Brisbane and the Wallaby medical staff remains confident he will be available in time for the game following further rehabilitation of the injury. The Wallabies are due to name their side for the second Test on Thursday.
 

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