O’Connell ruled out of test series with broken arm

o'connellIreland lock Paul O’Connell has been ruled out of the rest of the test series with a broken arm. It is a huge blow for the tourists, who lose a priceless source of on-field leadership. O’Connell was set to feature in his eighth straight Lions test, but instead will watch from the stands. There is no plan to call up a replacement at this stage.

Geoff Parling has been stood down from the Rebels match and is likely to take O’Connell’s place in the test side – Ian Evans comes into the line-up for Tuesday, with Tom Croft onto the bench. Flanker Dan Lydiate will captain the side.

British and Irish Lions (revised) vs Melbourne Rebels: 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.

8 thoughts on “O’Connell ruled out of test series with broken arm

  1. Big loss. Has been a form player on tour, but very impressed with how Parling’s leadership has come on on tour. Will be a real bonus for England moving forward and possible future captain.

  2. Saw AWJ with his arm round POC, head sunk in his hands in the changing room on Saturday. Had a feeling he wouldn’t be playing. Looking at the hit he took and the way he clutched his arm afterwards I was already pretty convinced. Bloody shame, never mind the Lions, POC deserved this for his career. This will be his last Lions tour and he was so good, he deserved to see it out.

    Cover is an interesting question. I think Parling is more in the AWJ mould, I don’t think anyone else on tour would be a like for like replacement of POC. The best option I can think of is possibly Launchbury or Al Kellock, maybe Donncha Ryan or Donncha O’Callaghan. DOC hasn’t really played many full games for Ireland or even Munster in recent past though.

    1. Terrible loss, agree he’s been the inform 2nd row player and had just come into great form before the selection. He’ll be sorely missed, and I agree that Parling and AWJ are similar players, but I think AWJ will now take the lead in POC absence and will take POC match approach and therefore give a different dynamic to ensure that Parling will undertake that similar approach the AWJ had been undertaking with POC. Big loss as I say, but Parling will add to the mix as AWJ steps up to take POC’s mantle. The bench options, Evans & Gray, haven’t really performed well and therefore agree that Launchbury is best choice call-up but he won’t be ready for Tuesday and therefore is unlikely to make the bench for the 2nd Test, therefore its Evans for 2nd Test bench but both he and Gray need to really perform in Tuesdays warm-up. Its a shame about Gray as he seemed to be in-form in the lead up to B&I Lions selection but seems to have gone off the boil now!

  3. Feel very sorry for POC. A bad player to lose as well. He was excellent on Sat and seemed to be everywhere on the pitch.

    Parling is great but doesn’t replace the power that POC offers in the rucks and scrums.

    Ian Evans is the closet lock the Lions have to replacing him but he hasn’t had a great tour so far. Even so, I would consider giving him the start over Parling, but looks like Gatland has decided differently

  4. Huge loss.

    Not only does POC provide so much physicality and intensity, his breakdown work and work rate in the tackle is immense.

    Another dimension that will be lost is his leadership. A number of times when the lions had a penalty, you could see warburton and POC come together and have a quick chat. He was clearly helping warbs out, which would have relieved Sam. BOD will have to step up and do similar.

    I doubt we will see a replacement. They won’t get out in time for the rebels game, and after that we only have 2 tests and 4 locks.

    It’s a shame that he won’t be able to see out the tour, but on the plus side, at least he has won his final lions appearance.

  5. Big loss i’m gutted for the man.

    With Parling steping in to replace him i’m slightly concerned that there is no genuine tight head lock. Am i right in thinking AWJ isn’t a tight head lock?

  6. Very sad, hope he’s able to stay with the squad, such an inspirational guy he can still play a useful part.

  7. Im gutted to see that he’s injured in his final hurrah, huge blow for the team he looks the best he’s done in a long time, agree hope he stays with the squad.

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