Saturday 17 March 2018

Kearney faces fitness race to stay on tour

Rob Kearney
Rob Kearney
Conor George

Conor George

ROB KEARNEY'S Lions tour is very much in doubt after it emerged that he has a grade one hamstring tear.

Coach Warren Gatland didn't put a cut-off time for Kearney's recovery, but it is fair to assume that the Irish international will have to be available for the game against the Waratahs in Sydney on June 15 if he is to remain with the squad.

"We will give Rob time to recover," said Gatland. "The medics have put in a plan for the next week or so and we feel like we've got cover at the moment with Leigh Halfpenny and Stuart Hogg and obviously Sean Maitland has played quite a lot at full-back as well.

"If we get another knock, we might need to think about a replacement, but for now we'll see how Rob progresses.

"There have been some markers put in place and, if we hit those in the right timescale, we will hopefully get him back."

That Kearney (left) is being afforded time to recover is testament to his standing within the group, but he is clearly in a race, with Gatland admitting that "it looks a little bit concerning at this stage".

Irish Independent

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