Ruck and Maul: Cipriani will be buzzing for Argentina but fellow Wasps drop like flies

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The Independent Online

Who would be a pundit? When these pages tipped Wasps players Paul Sackey and Tom Rees to make the Lions tour, the pair attempted to prove their fitness the same day in the Premiership at Bristol and were invalided off in the first half. Sackey's hairline fracture below the knee lasted a few minutes and it is now a full-blown broken leg encased in a moon boot. Rees's shoulder is in an equally unsightly sling. Better news for club-mate Danny Cipriani, though. Wasps physio Prav Mathema promised Ruck and Maul that the fly-half will be on England's end-of-season tour to Argentina (one Test at Old Trafford, the other near the Andes). And even if the plate in Cipriani's ankle is removed after that – it remains an "if" – the rehab to full contact takes only five weeks. "That would give Danny a full pre-season's training, which he missed last year," said Mathema who, unlike his famous patient, has been asked to tour with Ian McGeechan's Lions.

Scared Aussies seek SAS

The New South Wales Waratahs are taking no chances with security on their trip to South Africa this month. Two former members of the SAS were attached to the squad for their Super 14 matches in Bloemfontein, Durban and Johannesburg – all venues for Lions matches. Possible protests following the recent national elections were one source of Aussie concern.

Cusiter's club conundrum

Chris Cusiter has been tipped to take the Lions scrum-half vacancy created by the injury to Munster's Tomas O'Leary. But Cusiter's club Perpignan are top of the French Championship and chasing a place in the final on 6 June, the date of the Lions match against the Cheetahs. The Scot may follow Nathan Hines, who intends to defy Perpignan and pitch up in Surrey when the Lions meet two weeks tomorrow.

Cantona changes code

Three charity events with a watery theme. The 2009 Matt Hampson Walk departs from Rugby on 8 May and follow the Grand Union (geddit?) Canal to arrive at Twickenham for the 16 May Premiership final. A third of the proceeds go to SpecialEffect, a children's charity of which Hampson, the paralysed former England U19 prop, is patron. Part of SpecialEffect's work is to enable people with no movement other than in their eyes to operate a computer through "gaze-controlled" technology. Saracens stalwarts Richard Hill, Matt Cairns, Kris Chesney and Kevin Sorrell are preparing to kayak down the second longest fjord in the world, in Norway, in support of the PRA Benevolent Fund. The quartet will have a dry run along London's Lee Valley, which sounds less glamorous than the two charity matches played over the last two days in the south of France. Each game was one half football, one half rugby, and featured the Cantona brothers – Eric, Joël and Jean-Marie – against the Lièvremont clan (all eight including France coach Marc). "When the seagulls follow the trawler..." Bosh!

hughgodwin@yahoo.co.uk

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