Published June 24, 2013
SYDNEY (AFP) – Welsh back-row forward Dan Lydiate will lead the British and Irish Lions in their tour match against the Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday following a tour-ending injury to Paul O'Connell.
Newport Gwent Dragons blindside flanker Lydiate will skipper the team instead of Geoff Parling, who has been withdrawn from the starting line-up following O'Connell's broken arm.
A specialist in Brisbane confirmed Monday that O'Connell, who captained the Lions in South Africa four years ago, had an undisplaced fracture of his lower right arm.
No decision has been made on whether O'Connell will leave or stay with the squad.
Ospreys second row Ian Evans will start against the Rebels in place of Parling, while Ireland and Ulster prop Tom Court has been drafted onto the replacements' bench for Mako Vunipola.
Vunipola is being rested as cover for the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday due to Alex Corbisiero's calf injury. Tom Croft comes on to the bench for Evans.
Lions team (15-1)
Rob Kearney; Sean Maitland, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Simon Zebo; Owen Farrell, Conor Murray;Toby Faletau, Sean O'Brien, Dan Lydiate (capt); Ian Evans, Richie Gray; Dan Cole, Richard Hibbard, Ryan Grant.
Replacements: Rory Best, Tom Court, Matt Stevens, Tom Croft, Justin Tipuric, Ben Youngs, Billy Twelvetrees, Stuart Hogg.