Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Nathan Hines, with ball, could have worn the famous British & Irish Lions red shirt for the last time on their tour of South Africa after he was suspended for one week following a dangerous tackle.
Nathan Hines, with ball, could have worn the famous British & Irish Lions red shirt for the last time on their tour of South Africa after he was suspended for one week following a dangerous tackle.
Nathan Hines, with ball, could have worn the famous British & Irish Lions red shirt for the last time on their tour of South Africa after he was suspended for one week following a dangerous tackle.

Hines counts the cost of illegal tackle

Nathan Hines looks to have played his last game of the Lions tour after he was handed a one-match suspension yesterday for a dangerous tackle.

Nathan Hines, whose chances of making the Test side for the series-deciding game in Pretoria on Saturday were slim at best, looks to have played his last game of the tour after he was handed a one-match suspension yesterday for a dangerous tackle in Tuesday's game against the Emerging Springboks.

The Australia-born Scotland second row forward appeared before the judicial officer Alan Hudson in Cape Town yesterday and was found guilty of dangerously tackling Wilhelm Steenkamp, his opposite number, and dropped him to the ground during the Lions' 13-13 draw. Of the locks, Simon Shaw is the player most likely to put pressure on Alun-Wyn Jones and Paul O'Connell - the second-row pairing in Saturday's first Test - and the England and Wasps giant will be eagerly awaiting the news of today's announcement of the squad for the second Test.

Tight-head prop Adam Jones and hooker Matthew Rees are favourites to start alongside Gethin Jenkins in an all-Welsh front row, while the Lions could be forced into a change at full-back if Lee Byrne fails to recover from a foot injury. But Warren Gatland, the Lions' forwards coach, has cautioned against radical changes. "There's a lot of decisions to make," he said. "Some guys have put their hands up, but we need to make sure we are not too reactive after the first Test.

"We were obviously disappointed last weekend, so we've got to front up at scrum time and in the driving maul areas. "We passed the ball more than them last weekend and scored three tries to their two, so if we are going to win the Test we've got to work hard at battling the driven ball." The Lions are also hopeful that Andrew Sheridan, the front-row titan, will be cleared for a return to action after a back problem, opening the door for the England prop to feature on the bench at the weekend.

The Lions certainly need to beef up their pack if they are to prevent a repeat of the powerful rolling maul, which scrum coach Graham Rowntree described as "embarrassing", that led to the Springboks' second try on Saturday. South Africa have increased their forward options for the second Test with the return of Schalk Burger to the back row and the inclusion of five forwards on the bench. "They have plenty of back-up on the bench. We are considering having a six-one split on our bench to counter it," said Rowntree.

The Lions scrum coach is confident that, despite the wet conditions at their base in Cape Town, the Lions pack will be ready to tackle South Africa at altitude in Pretoria on Saturday. "We have had an honesty session. We have to trained as much as we can and spirits are high," he said. "The guys are very positive from what we did later in the game but we have got to fix that set piece." * With agencies

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Players such as George Springer are a sign that things are starting to swing in the Houston Astros' favour. But more help is needed. Scott Halleran / AFP

Houston Astros are still earth-bound but help is on the way

As harbingers of a new era go, the Houston Astros could have done worse than misspelling their new phenom’s name on his major-league debut.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inpire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National