KSA Shark ©

O’Leary out of Lions tour

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, In the news on 25 Apr 2009 at 20:48
Tagged with : , ,

British and Irish Lions head coach Ian McGeechan says it could be two weeks before he names a replacement for injured scrum-half Tomas O’Leary.

PA Sport reports that O’Leary has been ruled out of the summer tour to South Africa after breaking his ankle during Munster’s Magners League victory over the Scarlets on Friday.

But with the Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership semi-finals to come, McGeechan is no hurry to decide who will be added to the squad.

“I won’t rush in naming a replacement. It was a phone call I didn’t want last night,” he said.

“I’m obviously desperately disappointed for the player but we’ll take our time and keep our eye on things.

“I’m not looking to name a replacement for 10 to 14 days. There’s some rugby to watch and I’ll take my time.”

Grand Slam winner O’Leary started four of Ireland’s Six Nations matches and was selected alongside fellow scrum-halves Mike Phillips and Harry Ellis for the Lions tour.

Possible replacements will include Scotland captain Mike Blair, his national squad colleague Chris Cusiter, Wales’ Dwayne Peel and England international Danny Care.

O’Leary was carried off on a stretcher in the early stages at Musgrave Park just after he had set up Munster’s opening try.

He was taken to Cork University Hospital, where the injury was confirmed.

Munster coach Tony McGahan said: “It goes without saying that we are very disappointed to lose a player of Tomas’ stature at this crucial stage of the season.

“And even more particularly so, from his own personal point of view, given that he had just been selected to tour with the Lions and our thoughts are with him in that regard.”

O’Leary was among a record-equalling contingent of eight Munster players selected for a trip that starts against a Highveld XV in Rustenburg on May 30.

The Lions leave for South Africa on May 24.

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