British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has suffered a setback ahead of this summer’s tour to New Zealand after learning Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and Irish No. 8 Jamie Heaslip have both picked up injuries that could hurt their chances of featuring.
BBC Sport reported Jones will be absent for six weeks after injuring his shoulder hitting a ruck during Wales’ 20-18 defeat to France in the final week of this year’s Six Nations.
Meanwhile, Heaslip has received treatment on a back injury and faces a number of weeks on the sidelines, as does Rob Kearney, who has had surgery on a knee injury.
Neither player featured for Ireland in their Week 5 win over England, and Leinster coach Leo Cullen released a statement with an update on Heaslip’s condition this week:
“Jamie just had a procedure done on his back. He had disc issues. Obviously they come on quite quickly. It rules him out of the next number of weeks. When we get a report we will find out how long that will be. It sounds like they are reasonably standard procedures.”
The injuries place both players’ Lions tour chances in some doubt, while Jones also faces a battle to regain fitness and convince Gatland he’s deserving of his place.
Photo: Sky Sports