Simon Taylor, the youngest and least celebrated member of the 37-man Lions party, looked a rare talent during his 40 minutes of free-roaming activity against Western Australia on Friday. Sadly, those 40 minutes will have to satisfy him until the next tour, to New Zealand in 2005. Taylor was flying home today after suffering ligament damage in his left knee. Martin Corry, the Leicester back-rower, has been summoned from England's tour of North America as a replacement.
The move for Corry did not amuse Clive Woodward, the England manager, who accused the Lions administration of "panic measures". Corry, the tour vice-captain, had been due to play at blindside flanker against the Canadians in last night's Second Test in Vancouver, but was forced to withdraw when he received the call from Perth late on Friday.
"If I'd been them, I wouldn't have made this decision," said Woodward, sounding uncannily like his red-rose predecessor, Jack Rowell, who lost key members of an England tour party to the Lions four years ago and reacted in similar fashion. "I don't understand the rush to get Martin out there. The Lions have another easy game in midweek." Woodward drafted Steve White-Cooper of Harlequins into his side for last night's match.
Taylor, who won his first Scottish caps last season after a series of impressive Heineken Cup performances for Edin- burgh Reivers, played beautifully when he replaced Richard Hill for the second half of the Lions' opening fixture at the Waca. Even though the amateurs of Western Australia offered little more than token opposition, his extreme pace and highly-developed footballing skills impressed Graham Henry, the head coach of the party, who singled him out for praise afterwards. His sudden demise took Lions-watchers by surprise, for he had betrayed no sign of discomfort in completing the game. His knee was scanned at a local hospital after the match, and he was immediately ruled out of the remainder of the 10-match trip.
Corry is the second replace-ment to join the tour, following the Scotland hooker Gordon Bulloch's call-up as cover for Phil Greening, who, like Taylor, has a knee injury.Reuse content