British and Irish Lions 2013: Decision on whether to replace Cian Healy expected in next 48 hours

The Irish prop was hurt in the warm-up match against Western Force

The Lions will decide within the next 48 hours whether to summon a replacement pro for Cian Healy, who suffered suspected ankle ligament damage in today’s 69-17 win over Western Force.

Although an X-ray confirmed the Ireland loose-head did not suffer a break, Warren Gatland is sufficiently concerned to consider a replacement.

England’s Alex Corbisiero, who can play on both sides of the scrum, and Ryan Grant, impressive for Scotland during the Six Nations, will be the front-runners to come in if needed.

Healy sustained his injury shortly before the interval when he was tackled by flanker Angus Cottrell. The Dubliner hit the ground hard, his face contorted in pain. Within seconds, the tourists’ medical staff signalled for the stretcher. Two of Healy’s Leinster clubmates, Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip, ran over to offer heartfelt sympathy — a clear sign of their concern.

Already 17-3 up after tries from Ireland outside-half Jonathan Sexton, who ambled through a disconnected Force defence in the fourth minute, and O’Driscoll, who touched down in the corner after a smart exchange of passes with the impressive George North, the Lions reacted to this blow by pushing things along on the scoreboard. Leigh Halfpenny added an immediate penalty and then converted from the touchline as England flanker Tom Croft maximised a big overlap with the help of Sean O’Brien and Alun Wyn Jones.

Not that things had gone completely to plan. After Sexton’s soft try, the Lions found themselves in difficulties as the Force found ways of exerting pressure. There was also an uncomfortable moment when Force players complained of a biting incident involving Healy but a referral to the television official Glenn Newman yielded nothing in the way of hard evidence. The Lions were happy enough by the break, though, and when the impressive Heaslip set sail in open field on the restart and then completed the job by scoring from Sexton’s magisterial pass, they set their sights on a big score.

Pegged back momentarily by a close-range try from Force No 8 Richard Brown, they were back on the rampage within minutes, Mako Vunipola crashing over in the right corner. Halfpenny’s angled conversion was as perfectly struck as the others.

Indeed, Halfpenny delivered a master class in marksmanship. A second O’Driscoll try, cleverly created by Sexton and Manu Tuilagi; a cruising score for Owen Farrell; a close-range finish from Geoff Parling . . . all were improved by the Wales full-back, who ended the game with a faultless haul of 24 points.

Meanhile, Ireland full-back Rob Kearney, who has a hamstring injury will return to training next week.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing