x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

England prop Payne called up by Lions

Tim Payne became the second prop to be called up by the British & Irish Lions in four days after concerns about the back injury of his England teammate Andrew Sheridan.

DURBAN // Tim Payne became the second prop to be called up by the British & Irish Lions in four days on Sunday after concerns about the back injury of his England teammate Andrew Sheridan. "Tim Payne has been called up to provide essential cover for the front row as Andrew Sheridan is responding slowly to treatment for a sore back following the Southern Kings match," the coach Ian McGeechan said in a statement.

"We simply can't go into this week without sufficient cover at loosehead prop as we play the Emerging Springboks and the Springboks in the space of five days. "Tim will arrive match-fit having played in all three of England's recent international matches against the Barbarians and Argentina. We are still hopeful that Andrew Sheridan will respond to the medical regime he is currently undergoing." Welshman Gethin Jenkins started at loosehead in Saturday's first Test and looks certain to maintain his place for next Saturday's second Test in Pretoria. The Lions also play the Emerging Springboks in Cape Town on Tuesday in the last of their non-Test games.

Last Thursday they called up Ireland's John Hayes to replace Scot Euan Murray, who was ruled out of the tour with an injured ankle. Hayes and Adam Jones are likely to fight it out for the Test starting berth after Phil Vickery was given a torrid time by Springbok man of the match Tendai Mtawarira. *Reuters