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
Get the Bing Sports App for Windows 8 (© Microsoft)

latest rugby news

  • Chris Robshaw is facing questions once again

    Chris Robshaw insists experience has equipped him to handle the renewed speculation over his position as England's captain and openside.

  • Bath and England centre Kyle Eastmond

    Kyle Eastmond claims that neither England nor Sam Burgess feature in his current thought process after he helped to inspire Bath's record-breaking 45-0 Aviva Premiership romp against Leicester.

  • Dean Richards' Newcastle were slow starters against Northampton

    Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards bemoaned his side's performance in the first half hour of their 35-10 Aviva Premiership defeat at home to Northampton Saints.

  • Rhys Webb did most of the damage as the Ospreys beat Edinburgh on Sunday

    Ospreys soared to the top of the Guinness Pro12 table with a nine-try hammering of Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium to preserve their 100 per cent start to the season.

  • Alex Dunbar scored Glasgow's first try

    Glasgow Warriors flanker Tyrone Holmes could face a ban after being sent off in his side's bonus-point victory over a woeful Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.

  • Aaron Shingler put in a man-of-the-match display for the Scarlets

    The Scarlets bounced back from their hammering at the hands of Leinster with a seven-try, 43-0 thumping of hapless Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

  • Northampton's Ken Pisi scored a try in his team's Aviva Premiership win at Newcastle.

    Northampton returned to winning ways in the Aviva Premiership with an emphatic 35-10 triumph over Newcastle Falcons.

  • Olly Woodburn goes over for one of Bath's tries

    England fly-half hopeful George Ford inspired a Bath romp at the Recreation Ground as hapless Leicester were ruthlessly battered into submission.

  • Chris Robshaw scored a try for Quins

    Harlequins rebounded from their surrender to Saracens by completing a stormy 26-23 Aviva Premiership victory over Wasps at Twickenham Stoop.

  • Billy Vunipola's late try spared Saracens' blushes

    A last-minute try by Billy Vunipola from a driving maul saved Saracens' unbeaten record just as a rejuvenated London Irish had seemed set to pull off a remarkable Aviva Premiership victory.

  • Tom Varndell scored a try for Wasps as they beat Northampton at Adams Park

    Northampton's devastating start to their Aviva Premiership title defence is now a distant memory after they crashed to a 20-16 defeat against Wasps at Adams Park.

  • Shane Geraghty was influential as London Irish defeated Newcastle

    Newcastle centre Juan Pablo Socino hit the post with a last-gasp conversion attempt as the Falcons were edged out 20-18 by London Irish in a thriller on the new synthetic pitch at Kingston Park.

  • Freddie Burns moved to Leicester from Gloucester this summer

    Leicester's director of rugby Richard Cockerill has praised Freddie Burns, but stressed the fly-half needs to keep improving despite kicking 11 points as Leicester Tigers edged to a 24-20 win at Exeter.

  • Greig Laidlaw booted 19 of Gloucester's points

    Gloucester boss David Humphreys praised the character of his squad after a superb second-half fightback delivered an absorbing 34-27 Aviva Premiership victory over Sale Sharks.

  • Jonathan Joseph was among the tries for Bath

    Bath ran in seven tries in beating London Welsh 53-26 in a cut-and-thrust match at the Recreation Ground - but both sets of coaches were unhappy with their teams' defensive showing.