Thursday 22 February 2018

Confirmed: Payne will not re-join Lions ahead of series decider

Jared Payne
Jared Payne

Ruaidhri O'Connor in Queenstown

The Lions have confirmed that Jared Payne will not re-join the squad ahead of the final Test after remaining in Wellington to undergo tests.

The Ulster and Ireland back has been suffering from migraines which are not related to concussion according to the Lions’ head of medical Dr Eanna Falvey.

He withdrew from the squad to face the Hurricanes last Tuesday. Dr Falvey said he was not concerned for the player’s well-being, but couldn’t put a date on his return to play.

“Jared is undergoing some tests independent of concussion at the moment, he’s had migraines,” Dr Falvey said.

“He had a bang in the Chiefs game from which he recovered fully, he was fully cleared from concussion in the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) process and a subsequent specialist review.

“But he’s been struggling with migraine and that’s an independent process since then.

“Thankfully all his tests have been good, there's nothing concerning there but he's suffering [from migraine] symptoms at the moment.

"The specialist who saw him in Wellington is quite happy with him. We have a couple more minor tests to do which are still outstanding, that will give us more idea [of when he'll return].

“There's nothing of concern at the moment, it's just while he still has a headache he won’t be training at the moment.”

The announcement brings an injury-hit season to a close for Payne who damaged his kidney playing against Australia for Ireland in November and struggled with a calf problem after returning.

He was picked for the Lions despite his lack of game-time and has been used as a mid-week player, featuring in the defeats to the Blues and the Highlanders before scoring a try in the win over the Chiefs.

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