British & Irish Lions
Lions rocked by O'Connell blow
Tom Hamilton in Melbourne
June 24, 2013
Alun-Wyn Jones will have a new second-row partner against Australia on Saturday © Getty Images
The British & Irish Lions have suffered a huge blow with the news Paul O'Connell will miss the rest of the series against Australia with a broken arm.
The lock sustained the injury in the first Test victory over the Wallabies on Saturday, and the Lions confirmed the extent of the injury earlier today. "Paul O'Connell ruled out of Test series with undisplaced fracture of lower right arm," the tourists said in a statement via Twitter.
As a result, England lock Geoff Parling has been withdrawn from the side that is set to face the Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday night and will replace O'Connell in the Test line-up this weekend. The news came just a few hours after Wallabies captain and lock James Horwill was cleared of stamping on Lions second-row Alun-Wyn Jones in the first Test.
O'Connell's injury sees the Lions lose one of their most experienced players and team management have revealed there are no plans to call up a replacement. He started all three Tests on the 2005 tour to New Zealand and was handed the captain's armband for their 2009 trip to South Africa. He also started Saturday's first Test against Australia and played the full 80 minutes.
With O'Connell sidelined, Parling is poised to partner Jones in the second Test with a statement on the Lions' official website saying: "Parling is the likely replacement for O'Connell at the Etihad Stadium this weekend. He was due to captain the Lions in their final mid-week match against the Rebels in Melbourne tomorrow but has now been withdrawn from the side."
With Parling out, Ian Evans gets the nod for the match against the Rebels alongside Richie Gray with Tom Croft providing cover on the bench. Dan Lydiate will lead out the tourists against the Rebels.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.