Lions weekly news round-up

The home nations are building up to September's World Cup, which is now just four weeks away, and we are here to wrap up the week's goings on with a particular focus on the British & Irish Lions involved. [more]

Lions weekly news round-up

The home nations are building up to September’s World Cup, which is now just four weeks away, and we are here to wrap up the week’s goings on with a particular focus on the British & Irish Lions involved.

British & Irish Lions prop Ryan Grant could still play a part in Scotland’s World Cup campaign after it was confirmed his ankle injury was not as bad as first feared.
The front-rower twisted the joint just minutes into the second half of Scotland’s 28-22 defeat to Ireland in Dublin last weekend.
It was feared the 29-year-old – who replaced an injured Gethin Jenkins for the 2013 British & Irish Lions – had suffered a broken bone which would have ruled him out of next month’s World Cup.
But X-rays taken after the Aviva Stadium warm-up clash confirmed there was no fracture and head coach Vern Cotter now hopes to Grant available in time for the Scots' opening Pool B fixture with Japan in Gloucester on September 23.
Cotter said: "Ryan has given his ankle a nasty twist. He is between three weeks and a month from coming back.
"He has not been ruled out of the World Cup in the eyes of our medical staff. They think there will be a pretty quick turnaround so we're keeping our fingers crossed."
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill revealed British & Irish Lions flanker Tom Croft is back training with England.
Croft has been sidelined since March after dislocating a shoulder during a Tigers' victory over Newcastle Falcons.
The 29-year-old is no stranger to the treatment table after suffering a broken neck in 2012 and missing much of the 2013-14 campaign because of a knee injury.
However, the tide appears to be turning with Croft – who was a part of both the 2009 and 2013 British & Irish Lions squads – now helping England prepare for the World Cup.
Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester: "Croft's good and is training with England this week.
"This is just to get himself up to speed with what they are doing, in case there are any problems there."
Jonathan Sexton believes fellow British & Irish Lion and Irish compatriot Paul O’Connell has planned his move to France to perfection.
Sexton moved to Racing Metro at 28 and in the prime of his career whereas O'Connell will be 36 by the time he lines up for Toulon.
While Sexton had to deal with travelling for international duties, lock O’Connell can focus solely on his Top 14 career.
And the fly-half believes O'Connell has created a template that other Irish players could follow.
"I am going to miss certain things about Paris. Certain places in the city and certain people. We're delighted to be home and it's where I've always wanted to be… playing for Leinster and being looked after under the IRFU," he told Off The Ball on Newstalk. "I made no secret of that.
"I think the way Paul is doing it is ideal. He'll finish up with Ireland and then he can go over to France and focus fully on Toulon.
"He'll have blocks of time when he'll be off, he won't have to travel back for Six Nations games, he won't have to worry about being fit enough for certain games.
"A lot of players might follow suit."
Whereas O’Connell could extend his career for several seasons yet, British & Irish Lions forward Ryan Jones was forced to call time on his own career on medical advice.
The 34-year-old earned three Test appearances for the Lions on their 2005 tour to New Zealand and had been enjoying a spell at Bristol before suffering a serious shoulder injury in March.
But he was told he’d risk further significant damage if he continued to play.
"The old cliché of making the decision with a heavy heart is true on this occasion," he said.
"The last few weeks have been emotionally tough for me. I've had to recognise, and come to terms with, the fact that while the mind is still very willing, the body is no longer able to do what I want it to on a rugby pitch."

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