British and Irish Lions 2013: Alex Corbisiero and Jamie Roberts unlikely to feature in second Test against Australia
The tourists beat the Melbourne Rebels 35-0 today
Tuesday 25 June 2013
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has revealed that Alex Corbisiero and Jamie Roberts are unlikely to participate in Saturday's second Test against Australia in Melbourne.
England loosehead prop Corbisiero started but could not complete the Lions' 23-21 first Test victory over the Wallabies in Brisbane due to a tight calf and Wales centre Roberts missed the contest because of a hamstring injury.
"At this stage it's a little bit doubtful that they'll be involved," Gatland said.
Gatland revealed that Corbisiero and Roberts will be assessed on Thursday, when the team for the second Test at Etihad Stadium will be announced.
"Alex is struggling a little bit and Jamie is probably in the same boat. Both of them should be fine for the third Test, but at this stage......," he said.
"We have a recovery day tomorrow when everyone's off. Then we'll look at seeing how they are on Thursday morning.
"The medics have been doing a fantastic job for us and they might be declared fit, but it's doubtful."
Gatland was speaking after the Lions routed the Melbourne Rebels 35-0 in their final midweek match at AAMI Park with Conor Murray, Sean Maitland, Sean O'Brien and Ben Youngs crossing.
Referee Glen Jackson also awarded a penalty try in what was a highly-polished performance - topped by Maitland's terrific touchdown - that atoned for last week's dismal 14-12 loss to the Brumbies.
Gatland announced a clean bill of health from the match - with the proviso that nothing develops in the next 24 hours - and also confirmed that Paul O'Connell would be staying Down Under.
O'Connell was yesterday ruled out of the rest of the tour - the Tests against the Wallabies in Melbourne and Sydney - with a fractured arm, but was told he would be welcome to remain with the squad.
"Paul has been given the option to stay. I don't think he will be on a Lions tour in four years' time. He played such an important role in our win in the first Test," Gatland said.
"A lot of players who have been around for a while haven't had a lot of success in the southern hemisphere and were desperate for it. Paul was one of those.
"It's a big loss for Paul and the squad because he was playing some of the best rugby I've seen him play in a long, long time. He looked in great shape.
"The combination between him and Alun-Wyn Jones was starting to look very strong."
Gatland was delighted with the performance against a committed if limited Rebels side and reminded the players that they may yet be needed for the second and third Tests.
"That was a good response to the disappointment of last week. We said beforehand it was an opportunity for players to put their hands up," he said.
"Richie Gray had his best game on tour, Richard Hibbard carried the ball well, Conor Murray and Ben Youngs were good, as was Sean Maitland.
"The spirit really came out today, demonstrated by the way we didn't concede any points.
"There's still an opportunity for people to be involved because there are two games.
"Given the attritional rate, there are bound to be a few injuries between now and the final Test.
"Even if you're not selected or involved in the next two Tests, you can still feel proud of having been part of a successful Lions tour. That's what the aim is.
"These guys have been fantastic ambassadors for the four home unions and everyone back home should be proud of the way they're conducted themselves on and off the field."
Wales flanker Dan Lydiate enjoyed his spell as Lions captain.
"The boys were really champing at the bit and you could feel the intensity in the changing room before the game. It was quite easy to lead them," he said.
"Some of our enthusiasm was a bit much at times, but we can't fault the boys for their effort in laying down a marker for the weekend.
"For me it was a massive honour to lead the team and to get a winning result will live long in my memory."
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