Thursday 14 December 2017

Henshaw forced out of Lions tour with chest injury as North also bows out

Robbie Henshaw
Robbie Henshaw
George North will also leave New Zealand after tearing his hamstring. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ruaidhri O’Connor in Wellington

Robbie Henshaw’s Lions tour is over after scans revealed he tore his pectoral muscle when playing against the Hurricanes on Tuesday and will return home this weekend.

Wales winger George North, the star of the 2013 series win over Australia, will also leave New Zealand after tearing his hamstring in the same game.

It was a sad end to a frustrating tour for the 24-year-old Leinster star who has started all the mid-week games without ever threatening the Test side due to the form of Ben Te’o who took the lead early in the race for the No 12 shirt and never relinquished it.

The 29-times capped Ireland international travelled to New Zealand with a realistic shot at the starting side, but found himself on the wrong cycle; playing in a struggling side that lost its first two games.

He didn’t play badly, but never hit the heights he has achieved with Ireland and will leave with regrets.

Henshaw is young enough to have ambitions of being a key man in South Africa in four years’ time, but now he’ll head on summer holidays having his season ended by injury for the second successive time.

George North will also leave New Zealand after tearing his hamstring. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
George North will also leave New Zealand after tearing his hamstring. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Peter O’Mahony is substituted during the Lions defeat to New Zealand last weekend. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Last year his pre-season was affected by the knee problem he suffered while playing for Ireland against the Springboks and he and Leinster will be hoping he can overcome his injury quickly and report for duty ahead of the new season.

Despite the double blow, the Lions are not expected to replace either player as they have just two games remaining against the All Blacks on the tour.

Warren Gatland names his team to face the world champions at 1.30am.

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