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Brian O'Driscoll is given medical attention on the pitch at Loftus Versfeld following a clash of heads with South Africa's Danie Rossouw.
Brian O'Driscoll is given medical attention on the pitch at Loftus Versfeld following a clash of heads with South Africa's Danie Rossouw.

O'Driscoll out of third Test

Brian O'Driscoll has become the latest tour-ending casualty for the British & Irish Lions in South Africa.

Brian O'Driscoll has become the latest tour-ending casualty for the British & Irish Lions in South Africa. Ireland's Grand Slam captain will fly home tomorrow, along with Wales prop Adam Jones, missing next Saturday's third Test at Ellis Park. O'Driscoll, Lions skipper in New Zealand four years ago, was concussed during the agonising 28-25 second Test defeat in Pretoria three days ago. His 2005 tour ended in the first minute of the opening Test after he was spear-tackled by All Blacks players Keven Mealamu and Tana Umaga. The Leinster centre has been one of the Lions' stars of their 10-match South Africa trip, forging an outstanding midfield combination with Wales star Jamie Roberts. But his absence means a possible call-up on Saturday for England centre Riki Flutey when the Lions will target a consolation victory after South Africa established an unassailable 2-0 series lead. Jones, meanwhile, suffered a dislocated shoulder after being the victim of a dangerous charge by Bakkies Botha that earned the uncompromising Springboks lock a two-week ban. Jones, who had performed a mighty job in the Lions front row, had to have the shoulder joint put back into place under anaesthetic. He will now work with the Ospreys medical staff as he battles to be fit for the start of next season. "Arrangements are being made to bring Adam home," said Ospreys physiotherapist Chris Towers. "When he arrives back, we will take a close look at him and assess his condition fully. "We will then consult with specialists before any decision can be made regarding the management of his injury and any anticipated lay-off." Jones and O'Driscoll were among five Lions players taken to hospital after a second Test of savage intensity. Prop Gethin Jenkins is another confirmed non-starter for the tour finale due to a cracked cheekbone, meaning likely chances for England front-row forwards Andrew Sheridan and Phil Vickery. Jenkins will remain with the tour party, and has a review appointment with a surgeon on Friday. The Lions management have no plans to call for any replacement players. Roberts (wrist) and wing Tommy Bowe (elbow), meanwhile, continue to be assessed on a daily basis, but Lions doctor James Robson reported they were making "encouraging progress". The Lions claim O'Driscoll followed required medical protocol yesterday following a concussion, but he was quickly ruled out of contention for the third Test. O'Driscoll said: "Being a part of the 2009 British and Irish Lions squad has been one of the highlights of my career. "We were unbeaten leading into the Test matches, and it is a shame that the results in the Tests did not go our way, but sport comes down to fine margins at times." Lions head coach Ian McGeechan is due to name his third Test line-up on Thursday.

*PA Sport

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