British & Irish Lions
Hook and Murray out of first Test
June 17, 2009
James Hook was helped from the field by doctors in Port Elizabeth © Getty Images
The British & Irish Lions have ruled both prop Euan Murray and fly-half James Hook out of their plans for the first Test against South Africa in Durban on Saturday. Both players were injured during a fiery win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, with Murray suffering a sprained ankle and Hook forced from the field with a head injury.
The Lions staff have now ended any speculation as to whether the duo will be fit for selection, with Hook's injury possibly affecting the make-up of the bench for the Test at Kings Park. An x-ray revealed that Murray had not suffered a break, but his replacement at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Adam Jones, will now be in line for a call to the Test bench should the Lions opt for a strong scrummaging option in reserve.
"Neither player will be available for selection for the first Test," said Lions assistant coach Rob Howley. "It is an ongoing assessment with both players."
Lions' head coach Ian McGeechan is due to announce his Test side tomorrow and although yesterday's match was an often brutal affair, the match citing commissioner has opted to take no further action against any players. As part of the Lions' tour agreement in South Africa, he had a 12-hour window to make a citing but has decided not to go down that route.
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