Updated: 24/06/2013 10:17 | By pa.press.net

Roberts nearing fitness



Hamstring-victim Jamie Roberts may come into the reckoning for the second Test

Hamstring-victim Jamie Roberts may come into the reckoning for the second Test

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has revealed that centre Jamie Roberts may be involved in Saturday's second Test against Australia.

Roberts missed Saturday's 23-21 victory over the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium because of a hamstring injury, but the Wales centre could figure in selection when the series resumes in Melbourne.

The news continues a positive series of medical bulletins that has seen Manu Tuilagi and Tommy Bowe regain fitness for the second Test. Tuilagi, who has been sidelined with a shoulder problem, starts Tuesday's match against the Melbourne Rebels at outside centre while Tommy Bowe has been given a clean bill of health following hand surgery.

Gatland paid tribute to the Lions' medical team with the tourists close to declaring a clean bill of health. Remarkably, only Roberts and prop Alex Corbisiero, who has a tight calf, have question marks hanging over their fitness with the rehabilitation of Bowe and wing George North completed well ahead of schedule.

"The first prognosis of George North was that he would definitely be out of the first Test, so the medical team have done a fantastic job getting those guys back fit," Gatland said.

"To have Tommy and Manu fit and back is a great compliment to the medical staff. Tommy's fit for Saturday, he's running, but the more time he has to heal the better. The surgeon said that that injury is normally a six-to-eight-week injury, so to be fit in three weeks is magnificent. It's important not to risk him on Tuesday."

England lock Geoff Parling will lead the Lions against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Tuesday night. Rory Best drops to the bench following his poor performance in last week's 14-12 defeat by the Brumbies in Canberra. The whole bench from the victory against Australia is involved against the Rebels, although none of the starting XV feature.

British and Irish Lions team to face Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park, Melbourne, on Tuesday, June 25 (KO 1040BST):

R Kearney (Ireland); S Maitland (Scotland), M Tuilagi (England), B Barritt (England), S Zebo (Ireland); O Farrell (England), C Murray (Ireland); R Grant (Scotland), R Hibbard (Wales), D Cole (England), R Gray (Scotland), G Parling (England, capt), D Lydiate (Wales), S O'Brien (Ireland) T Faletau (Wales).

Replacements: R Best (Ireland), M Vunipola (England), M Stevens (England), I Evans (Wales), J Tipuric (Wales), B Youngs (England), B Twelvetrees (England), S Hogg (Scotland).

0Comments
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest rugby news

  • Danny Cipriani is enjoying his rugby at Sale

    Danny Cipriani is prepared to commit his long-term future to Sale, as long as the club can match his own lofty ambitions.

  • Former Bath and England full-back Jon Callard has been handed a new role with the RFU

    Former Bath and England full-back Jon Callard has been appointed as the Rugby Football Union's national performance academy manager and international performance coach.

  • Glasgow signing Lee Jones, right, will continue playing sevens

    Lee Jones has signed a one-year contract with Glasgow that also allows the winger to play for Scotland Sevens.

  • Gary Street hailed his players following their World Cup final victory

    England's triumph at the Women's Rugby World Cup can prove the catalyst for a move into professionalism, according to head coach Gary Street.

  • Connor Braid aims to show his ball skills at Glasgow

    Glasgow have signed Canadian international back Connor Braid on an initial three-month contract.

  • Wales international James Hook, who is one of Gloucester's star signings for the new season

    David Humphreys is well aware of the enormous expectation that surrounds English rugby's sleeping giants Gloucester.

  • Gregor Hunter suffered another major injury blow

    Former Edinburgh stand-off Gregor Hunter has signed a training contract with Glasgow despite being ruled out for another nine months after his knee injury flared up again.

  • Wales prop Adam Jones has explained his decision to sign for Cardiff

    Wales prop Adam Jones has written an open letter to Ospreys supporters after signing for Cardiff Blues.

  • Wales prop Adam Jones has joined Cardiff Blues

    Wales prop Adam Jones has hailed Cardiff Blues' "ambition and potential for the future" after being unveiled as their latest new signing.

  • Brad Thorn, right, lifts the Heineken Cup with Brian O'Driscoll in 2012

    Leicester have signed New Zealand World Cup winner Brad Thorn.

  • England's James Haskell will captain Wasps this season

    England forward James Haskell has extended his contract with Wasps and will captain the side this season, the Aviva Premiership club have announced.

  • England won the Women's World Cup after centre Emily Scarratt inspired a 21-9 victory over Canada at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris.

    England won the Women's World Cup after centre Emily Scarratt inspired a 21-9 victory over Canada at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris.

  • Ruan Pienaar's early converted try gave South Africa a flying start but they were left holding on for victory at the end against Argentina

    South Africa got their Rugby Championship campaign up and running with victory over Argentina, although it was far from easy for the Springboks in testing conditions at a rain-drenched Loftus Versfeld.

  • Kurtley Beale was a key man for Australia as they ended New Zealand's winning run

    Australia foiled New Zealand's bid to win an historic 18th consecutive Test as the Bledisloe Cup rivals played out a 12-12 stalemate at the ANZ Stadium.

  • Katy Mclean, who will captain England in the women's World Cup final against Canada on Sunday

    Katy Mclean will hope to emulate one of her rugby heroes on Sunday when England's women go for World Cup glory on Sunday.