O'Connell's Lions dream shattered

Sat, 29 Dec 2012 20:14
Large paulo connell Large paul o  connell and brian o Large paulo connellportrait

Munster revealed on Saturday that Paul O'Connell will undergo surgery to correct the back problem that has sidelined him since October.

Munster revealed on Saturday that Paul O'Connell will undergo surgery to correct the back problem that has sidelined him since October.

This will almost certainly end his dream of leading the British and Irish Lions on back-to-back tours, when they head to Australia next year.

While the Munster statement did not put a timeframe on his possible return to the playing field, back surgery will rule him out of the Six Nations and thus end his chances of impressing Lions coach Warren Gatland.

Despite a recent statement that O'Connell's treatment for the lower back injury was "progressing satisfactorily", Munster confirmed that he will now go under the knife.

"Following consultation between IRFU [Irish Rugby Football Union] and Munster medical staff and the player himself, it has been decided that Paul O'Connell will undergo back surgery at the earliest opportunity," the Munster statement read.

O'Connell, who captained the B&I Lions on their tour to South Africa in 2009, was one of the leading candidates to skipper the four Home Unions when they combine for next year's trip Down Under.

However, a recent string of injuries now seem to have scuppered that prospect.

He has been undergoing treatment on his back problem and it was initially expected that he would return in time for the start of the Six Nations in February.

The Irish international has been out for over a month with a persistent knee injury, which kept him out of the disastrous June tour of New Zealand and the early part of this season.

However, O'Connell did return to full training with the Irish squad for the November Tests, but was again ruled out after the long-term back injury flared up again.

O'Connell's last competitive match was in the European Cup against Edinburgh, last year's semifinalists.

New Zealand vs Wales
sast: 09h35 | local: 19h35

  • 25 | 6
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 June 2016
United States v Russia 02h00 Sacramento
Samoa v Tonga 02h00 Apia
Australia v England 10h00 Sydney
Japan v Scotland 10h30 Nagoya
Italy U20 v Japan U20 11h00 Manchester
Griffons v Free State Cheetahs 12h10 Welkom
Griquas v Sharks 13h00 Kimberley
Georgia U20 v France U20 13h15 Manchester
Argentina U20 v South Africa U20 13h30 Salford
Boland v Namibia 14h00 Wellington
South Africa v Ireland 15h00 Port Elizabeth
Scotland U20 v Wales U20 15h30 Manchester
Australia U20 v New Zealand U20 15h45 Salford
Ireland U20 v England U20 18h00 Salford
Argentina v France 18h10 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 June 2016
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Jaguares v Blues 22h00 Buenos Aires
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS