Scottish star Finn Russell will miss the opening test for the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa, but it is hoped he can feature later this summer.
Russell, 28, is excluded from Saturday’s showdown in Cape Town – which will be live on talkSPORT – with an Achilles problem.
Scottish star Finn Russell to miss opening test for British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa
The Racing 92 ace suffered a small tear to his Achilles in the Lions’ 54-7 win over the Sharks on July 7 and has since recovered.
There were concerns that his tour might end before the Tests started, but that may not be the case.
Lions assistant coach Gregor Townsend said the teams “remain hopeful” that Russell will be fit to play again soon.
The teams have been confirmed for Saturday’s opening test and Marcus Smith, 22, will start at the opening.
Of Russell’s injury, Lions coach Warren Gatland first said: “It’s not a tight Achilles, there is a slight little tear so that will prevent him from entering during the two. next weeks.
“We will try to see if we can rehabilitate him. He’s going to be in a boot for the next five days and when he gets out of it, he’ll still have treatment.
British and Irish Lions star Finn Russell recently suffered a small tear to his Achilles
“He will continue to receive treatment for the next five days and if he makes good progress, we will evaluate him in the future. If he isn’t, he may be going home.
“It’s a waiting situation.”
Speaking a week later, Lions assistant coach Gregor Townsend said, “It’s wait and see.
“We are now five or six days before his recovery. He had an injection in that area.
“He’s out of his boot, so he’ll start the rehabilitation process smoothly, and then hopefully he’ll be involved in full training again.
“He’s unlikely to be involved in the first Test, but we still hope he will be available for the last two.”
Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions face South Africa in first test on Saturday South Africa vs Lions: lineups confirmed
South Africa: Le Roux, Kolbe, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi, Pollard, De Klerk, Nche, Mbonambi, Nyakane, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Du Toit, Smith.
Substitutes: Marx, Kitshoff, Malherbe, De Jager, Elstadt, H Jantjies, E Jantjies, Willemse.
The Lions: Hogg, A Watson, Daly, Henshaw, Van Der Merwe, Biggar, Price, W Jones, Cowan-Dickie, Furlong, Itoje, AW Jones (capt), Lawes, Curry, Conan.
Substitutes: Owens, Sutherland, Sinckler, Beirne, H Watson, Murray, Farrell, L Williams.
South Africa v The Lions: how to listen
This first Test will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday July 24.
Full coverage of Cape Town Stadium will be streamed live on talkSPORT, with our pre-match preparation starting at 4pm.
Craig Doyle will be your host and comments will come from Andrew McKenna and James Haskell.
We’ll also have expert analysis from former Lions Ben Kay and Tommy Bowe.
To connect, click on the radio player below or HERE for the live stream.
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