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O'Connell ruled out with fracture

Lock Paul O'Connell has been ruled out of the remainder of the British and Irish Lions' Test series against Australia with a fractured arm.

The 85 times-capped Ireland international sustained the injury in Saturday's 23-21 victory in the first Test at Suncorp Stadium and the extent of the problem was revealed after further assessment.

A statement on the Lions website read: "British & Irish Lions lock Paul O'Connell has been ruled out of the remaining two games of the series against the Qantas Wallabies after suffering a fractured arm."

Arguably the Lions' most influential forward, O'Connell had been an integral part of head coach Warren Gatland's plans as they head to Melbourne 1-0 up. The 33-year-old is on his third Lions tour, having played in seven Tests, and acted as captain back in the 2009 series against South Africa.

O'Connell's tour-ending injury has resulted in a reshuffle to the 23 selected for Tuesday's final midweek game against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.

In an indication that he will start the second Test against Australia, Geoff Parling has been withdrawn from the XV, with the captaincy given to flanker Dan Lydiate. Ian Evans takes Parling's place in the second row with Tom Croft drafted onto the replacements bench.

British and Irish Lions team to face Melbourne Rebels:

R Kearney (Ireland); S Maitland (Scotland), M Tuilagi (England), B Barritt (England), S Zebo (Ireland); O Farrell (England), C Murray (Ireland); R Grant (Scotland), R Hibbard (Wales), D Cole (England), R Gray (Scotland), I Evans (Wales), D Lydiate (Wales, capt), S O'Brien (Ireland) T Faletau (Wales).

Replacements: R Best (Ireland), M Vunipola (England), M Stevens (England), T Croft (England), J Tipuric (Wales), B Youngs (England), B Twelvetrees (England), S Hogg (Scotland).


From Belfast Telegraph