Following the news yesterday that Cian Healy was to return home due to an ankle injury, the Lions have had further bad news today ahead of their match against the Queensland Reds as it was announced that Gethin Jenkins will also be returning home.
The Welsh loosehead had already been withdrawn from the starting line up for todayâ€™s game due to a recurrence of the calf problem that had kept him out of the first two games of the tour, however a scan showed significant damage, forcing him to return home.
British & Irish Lions Head Doctor James Robson said: â€œThe expected time for recovery is at least three weeks and given the remaining duration of the tour we felt that Gethin should return home and continue his rehabilitation there.â€
It is a devastating blow for the Lions who have now lost the two men who we considered to be fighting it out for the Test number one jersey, however the from of young Mako Vunipola on tour so far will provide fans and management alike with some comfort.
Alex Corbisiero landed in Brisbane this morning as a replacement for Healy, with Scotlandâ€™s Ryan Grant in the air currently as Jenkinsâ€™ replacement.
It took Corbisiero two days and five flights to get to Brisbane from Argentina, where we was with the England squad, but the prop was in good spirits when we touched down, saying:
â€œIt was a long journey but Iâ€™m not complaining â€“ I would do it again just to be here. You never like to come in for anyone who is injured and I feel for Cian and Gethin but I just feel so privileged to be given this opportunity.â€
â€œItâ€™s been a bit of a whirlwind afternoon meeting everyone and Iâ€™m looking forward to going to the game tonight and then getting down to training. I also want to wish England all the best against Argentina today.â€
With two props required on the bench nowadays, there will be no sense of just being there for the midweek games for the new boys as they know that at least one of them will definitely be involved in the Test 23, an incentive if ever there was one.
Mako Vunipola will start at loosehead today against the Reds, with Dan Cole theoretically covering from the bench as Alex Corbisiero has only just touched down and is not considered ready to be involved yet. Expect both him and Grant to be involved on Tuesday though.