Sunday 22 October 2017

Lions blow as Bowe forced out

Andrew Baldock

TOMMY BOWE'S Lions dreams have been cruelly ended after the Ireland winger broke a bone in his hand during yesterday's 22-12 victory over the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.

Bowe joins props Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins in missing the rest of the tour. Bowe, a strong bet to make the first Test team against Australia on June 22, returned to action in time for the Lions squad announcement just over two months ago after missing a large chunk of the season through injury, playing in Ulster's Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat against Saracens.

If, as expected, Lions head coach Warren Gatland summons a replacement today, Ireland's Simon Zebo will be in the frame, along with young Englishman Christian Wade and Scotland's Tim Visser.

Paul O'Connell said it was a cruel blow for the winger but said that the squad has to move on. "The guys that get injured, they are very disappointed, obviously, but you've just got to get on with it," O'Connell said.

"It's disappointing for the guys, especially a guy of Tommy's experience. Certainly in the backs, while we have experience, we have a lot of young guys as well, and it was good to have a winger of his kind of experience there."

O'Connell went on as a second-half replacement and played an integral part in keeping a fired-up Reds side at bay. Although they outscored the Lions two to one on tries, Owen Farrell's 17-point haul made the difference.

See Page 9

Irish Independent

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