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British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia 2013

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Latest News - Friday 14 June 2013 - 11:07

George North In Battle to Be Fit for First Test

British & Irish Lions Winger George North is facing an uphill battle to be fit for the first test match against the Wallabies a week on Saturday.

The Welsh flyer injured his hamstring in the 0-64 win over Combined NSW/QLD Country XV on Tuesday and has been wrapped in cotton wool since.  Centre Manu Tuilagi is also struggling to be fit following a shoulder injury.

Neither North or Tuilagi have been named in the match day 23 to face NSW Waratahs on Saturday and head coach Warren Gatland has indicated that there are one or two expected starters who will not be fit to play in the first test next weekend.

He said “There are one or two who are a little bit sore. By the time next Saturday comes around they might all be fit but one or two are possibly going to be ruled out because they are not fit enough early in the week. ”

Warren Gatland also indicated that he would not necessarily pick Tour captain Sam Warburton for the test series if he his form wasn’t up to scratch “There is competition there and it’ll be a long night when we pick the Test back row.”

“It’s about picking the best players and I haven’t changed that tune. Sam’s well aware of that. He had a good blow-out last week against the Reds with a couple of good turnovers so we’ll see what happens on Saturday. Let’s let the game unfold, rather than trying to predict and create some controversy about potentially leaving one of two players out of the team.

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