SYDNEY (AFP) – Experienced lock Paul O'Connell has been ruled out of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia with a broken arm.
The Irish forward, 33, suffered a fractured lower right arm in Saturday's 23-21 victory over the Wallabies in the first Test at Brisbane, in what is a massive blow for the tourists.
O'Connell, who has appeared 85 times for Ireland and has played in the last seven Lions Tests, is regarded as the cornerstone of their forward pack with his leadership and is on his third Lions tour.
His setback follows news on Sunday that England prop Alex Corbisiero is unlikely to be fit for Saturday's second Test in Melbourne with a calf injury.
Team management have already drafted in Ireland's Tom Court as a replacement for Corbisiero and named him among the replacements for Tuesday's tour game with the Melbourne Rebels.
Court was the eighth call-up to the Lions touring party as an injury reinforcement.
There was no immediate word on whether O'Connell will be replaced on the tour.