Tuesday 20 February 2018

Lions must move on - Rowntree

Graham Rowntree, pictured, joins Neil Jenkins on the Lions tour.
Graham Rowntree, pictured, joins Neil Jenkins on the Lions tour.

British and Irish Lions assistant coach Graham Rowntree refused to dwell on Paul O'Connell's tour-ending fractured arm, insisting you have to "roll with the punches when it comes to injuries".

O'Connell sustained the injury in the 23-21 victory over Australia in the first Test at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, and it was announced on Monday that he would play no further part in the series.

"Paul's a massive loss. He's such a big influence on the group and has been playing exceptionally well. But you have to get on with these things," Rowntree said.

"I'd like him to stay on, but I'm not sure what he'll do. You just have to roll with the punches when it comes to injuries."

Rowntree also revealed that a clearer picture over Alex Corbisiero's calf injury will emerge over the next 24-48 hours but was unable to give an update on Jamie Roberts' hamstring problem.

O'Connell's Ireland team-mate Sean O'Brien spoke of the void left by the 2009 Lions skipper's exit from the tour.

The Ireland lock has been told he can remain with the Lions rather than returning home, but has yet to make a decision on whether he will stay Down Under.

"Paul's obviously a massive loss. It's a decision for him to make if he wants to stay on. He's a big influence. Personally I'd like to see him stay on," O'Brien said.

"The injuries aren't too big a problem. We have lads to cover in all positions and that shows the strength of the squad."

Press Association

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