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Healy hearing delayed


Cian Healy. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

Cian Healy. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

Cian Healy. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

SAM WARBURTON will make his tour bow when he captains the Lions against Queensland Reds on Saturday as Cian Healy's disciplinary has been delayed.

Flanker Warburton, who missed the opening two games while he recovered from a knee injury, will pack down in the back row alongside his Wales team-mates Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau.

Centre Manu Tuilagi and wing Tommy Bowe, who started against Western Force yesterday, also feature. Bowe is the only Irish player to make the starting 15 for Saturday.

Healy's disciplinary hearing to answer a charge of 'biting' an opponent during the Lions' match against Western Force has been delayed until late tonight, Irish time.

Healy was originally scheduled to face the hearing in Brisbane today after he was accused of biting by Force scrum-half Brett Sheehan in the first half of the Lions' 69-17 victory in Perth.

The hearing has been pushed back to 9.0am local time (11.0pm GMT) and the venue changed to Brisbane's Hilton Hotel.

Sheehan complained to the referee that he had been bitten by Healy and the match was stopped while the television match official looked for foul play.

Match citing officer, South African Freek Burger, asked Sheehan to provide him with a statement following the game after he made a biting allegation to referee Glen Jackson during the match.

Healy was later taken off the field by stretcher with suspected ankle ligament damage after his left leg was twisted in a tackle. Alex Corbisiero is already on his way from the England tour to Argentina – flying via Buenos Aires, Santiago and Sydney – to join the Lions as injury cover for Healy.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: "Cian has had an X-ray and, while his left ankle is not broken, he will be assessed further when we get to Brisbane.

"In the meantime, we need to get Alex over here as soon as possible, and I am thankful to (England head coach) Stuart Lancaster for letting him go so quickly."

Lions team (v Queensland Reds) - Hogg; Cuthbert, Tuilagi, Davies, Bowe; Farrell, B Youngs; Jenkins, T Youngs, Stevens, Gray, Parling, Lydiate, Warburton (capt), Faletau. Replacements: Hibbard, Vunipola, Jones, O'Connell, Tipuric, Murray, Sexton, North.