Irish duo's Lions hopes dented by injury

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:33
Large jamie heaslip irenand v south africa 800

INJURY UPDATE: Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney's hopes of making the British and Irish Lions squad suffered a setback when they were ruled out for several weeks due to injury, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said.

Cullen said No.8 Heaslip will be out for a number of weeks after undergoing a "minor procedure" on his lower back to sort out the problem that forced him to withdraw at the last minute from the starting Ireland XV for last Saturday's 13-9 win over Six Nations champions England.

Fullback Kearney, who has been tipped for the Lions tour of New Zealand because of his ability under the high ball, also had surgery on the knee injury he suffered ahead of the England match.

The 30-year-old, like Heaslip, has been in two previous Lions squads. He is expected to be out for between four to six weeks.

"Jamie just had a procedure done on his back on Friday," said Cullen.

"He had disc issues. He had a bit of discomfort at the start of the week, so he saw a specialist. It obviously rules him out of the next number of weeks.

"Rob had a procedure done during the week after seeing a specialist on Tuesday. That's probably four to six weeks. We'll see how he comes through that,"

Cullen admitted the news was not great for the Irish province as they enter the business end of the season in both the League and the Champions Cup - they host Premiership leaders Wasps in a quarterfinal on Saturday.

"It's definitely a loss, if you think of what's coming up," said Cullen.

"But that's the nature of the business we're in. It's another chance for guys to come in,"

Both are unlikely to gain any playing time prior to the announcement on April 19 of the Lions squad - made up of players from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland - by head coach Warren Gatland.

The three Test tour begins in Gatland's native New Zealand with a June 3 match against the New Zealand Barbarians.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 09h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 11h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 09h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 11h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0