Warburton doubt for Lions tour opener
May 29, 2013
Sam Warburton chats with Warren Gatland during the first training session in Hong Kong © Getty Images
Sam Warburton is a doubt for the British and Irish Lions tour opener against the Barbarians on Saturday after being forced to sit out the first training session.
The Lions captain picked up a knock before the squad left London and may not be risked for the weekend's match.
"Sam had a slight bump in training last week and we just want to give him time before Saturday," Lions assistant coach Rob Howley said. "We'll assess it over the next 24 hours. The bump was to his knee. It's just a bit puffy, that's all.
"There is a lot of strength in depth within the 37 players and the quality we have in the back-row is there for all to see."
The Lions will definitely be missing Gethin Jenkins who is struggling with a calf strain while Leinster back-row Sean O'Brien is battling to overcome the knee injury that forced him to miss the RaboDirect PRO12 final.
Meanwhile, the Barbarians named Italy's Sergio Parisse as captain for the match as well as making a number of changes to the side which lost heavily to England last Sunday. Wasps' lock Marco Wentel is the only forward retained in the starting line-up.
Barbarians team: J Payne (Ulster); J Rokocoko (Bayonne & New Zealand), E Daly (Wasps), C Laulala (Munster & New Zealand), T Ngwenya (Biarritz & USA); N Evans (Harlequins & New Zealand), D Yachvili (Biarritz & France); P James (Bath & Wales), S Brits (Saracens & South Africa), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester & Italy), M Wentzel (Wasps & South Africa), D Mumm (Exeter & Australia), S Manoa (Northampton & USA), S Jones (London Wasps), S Parisse (Stade Francais & Italy, captain)
Replacements: L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso & Italy), D Jones (Ospreys & Wales), A Lo Cicero (Racing Metro & Italy), J Hamilton (Gloucester & Scotland), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz & France), K Fotuali'i (Ospreys & Samoa), J Hook (Perpignan & Wales), M Tindall (Gloucester & England)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes