Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


O'Connell ruled out of Lions tour

24th June 2013 06:30



Broken arm: Paul O'Connell

British and Irish Lions lock Paul O'Connell has been ruled out of the tour of Australia with a broken arm, team officials said on Monday.

The Ireland international suffered the injury in the 23-21 first Test triumph in Brisbane on Saturday and will miss the upcoming fixtures in Melbourne and Sydney.

It is a bitter blow for both the tourists and the player, who figured in his seventh successive Test for the Lions.

The 2009 skipper now has the option of remaining in Australia to watch his team-mates hopefully clinch a first series success since 1997, or to return home.

England lock Geoff Parling, who was a second-half replacement for Alun Wyn Jones in Brisbane, is the likely replacement for O'Connell at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.

He was due to captain the Lions in their final midweek match against the Rebels in Melbourne on Tuesday but has now been withdrawn from the side.

Ian Evans moves up from the bench to take his place in the second row alongside Richie Gray, with Tom Croft joining the matchday 23.

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate will now lead the Lions in place of Parling. There are no plans to call up a replacement for O'Connell at this stage.

British and Irish Lions (revised): 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Dan Lydiate (c), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Tom Croft, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Stuart Hogg.