Tommy Bowe ruled out of British & Irish Lions tour

Irish winger Tommy Bowe became the third player in two days to be ruled out of the British and Irish Lions tour when he suffered a suspected broken hand against the Queensland Reds Saturday.

Bowe will join prop forwards Gethin Jenkins and Cian Healy on the journey home after head coach Warren Gatland said he may need an operation. He left the field early in the second half of the Lions’ 22-12 win in Brisbane.

“It doesn’t look too good at the moment with Tommy. It looks like he’s broken a bone in his hand that the doctors are saying he probably needs an operation,” Gatland said, confirming that Bowe was out of the tour.

“It’s huge. Tommy, the experience that he brings, being able to play right wing, left wing, center, fullback. He’s a big loss for us,” added the New Zealander.

In better news for the tourists, Gatland said England centre Manu Tuilagi wasn’t seriously injured despite being replaced during the first half with an injured arm.

Wales’s Jenkins was ruled out earlier Saturday after scans revealed his calf strain would take three weeks to heal. On Friday, Healy’s tour was confirmed over with an ankle injury suffered in Wednesday’s win over Western Force.

“Collateral damage adding up. Some big losses to important personnel,” tweeted Irish centre Brian O’Driscoll after Saturday’s game.

Mako Vunipola deputised for Jenkins against the Reds, while Scotland’s Ryan Grant has been drafted into the squad to provide cover.

The Lions have already called up England prop Alex Corbisiero as cover for Healy ahead of their three Test matches with Australia, which start on June 22.

Corbisiero arrived in Brisbane on Saturday after a five-flight, two-day trip from the England team’s tour in Argentina.

“It was a long journey but I’m not complaining — I would do it again just to be here,” Corbisiero said upon arrival.

“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.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind afternoon meeting everyone and I’m looking forward to going to the game tonight and then getting down to training.”

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