Payne out of B&L Lions opener

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 04:30

INJURY UPDATE: Centre Jared Payne has been ruled out of the British and Irish Lions' opening tour match in New Zealand with a calf strain, team management announced Friday.

New Zealand-born Irishman Payne had been named on the bench for Saturday's game against the Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei but his spot will be taken by England's Elliot Daly.

Daly was one of the stars of England's Six Nations success this year.

Meanwhile, the All Blacks are sweating on hooker Dane Coles' fitness after he was omitted from the Hurricanes team to face Western Force on Saturday.

Coles has not played since March 18 and is struggling to shake off concussion symptoms.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd rated the 49-Test All Black a "doubtful starter" for the Super Rugby team's match against Chiefs next week.

"I know he made some progress last week but... I think it would be unlikely that he's going to get through enough before next week for him to come into contention for selection," Boyd said.

The All Blacks' first Test against the Lions is June 24 after a June 16 warm-up against Samoa, leaving Coles little time to get match-fit.

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS - revised: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Te'o, 11 Tommy Seymour –, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rory Best, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 George Kruis, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Elliot Daly.

Date: Saturday, June 3
Venue: Okara Park, Whangarei
Kick-off: 19.35 (08.35 UK & Ireland time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

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