FLY-HALF James Hook faces an anxious wait to see if his British & Irish Lions tour is over after suffering head and neck injuries in Tuesday’s bruising tour match with Southern Lions.
Hook has already been ruled out of Saturday’s first Test with world champions South Africa and must now visit a neurosurgeon next week to determine whether he has suffered concussion. If he has, then Hook faces a mandatory three-week spell on the sidelines, thus ruling him out of the rest of the tour.
Although Hook was a leading candidate for bench duty on Saturday, his absence comes as a big blow to the Lions having starred since being drafted into the squad as a replacement for Leigh Halfpenny.
Lions assistant coach Rob Howley said: “James has got an ability to play in different positions. We haven’t selected the Test 22 as of yet, so whether or not he was going to be in that 22 is a good question.
“But you are going to miss a player of that quality.”
Coach Ian McGeechan today names his starting XV for the first Test in Durban and must also do without prop Euan Murray, who was withdrawn from the Kings game with an ankle injury. X-rays have revealed just a sprain and no fracture, meaning the Scotland international may yet play a part in the series.