Lions hopeful over trio

British and Irish Lions tour manager Andy Irvine has said he is hopeful Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips and Alex Corbisiero will all be fit for Saturday’s huge series decider against Australia in Sydney (Lions – Series Winners – 10/11).

Wales duo Roberts and Phillips are currently being treated for minor hamstring and knee injuries, while prop Corbisiero is still hampered by a calf problem.

However, following tests and significant treatment already this week, the hope in the tourists’ camp is that all three will be available for the third Test at ANZ Stadium this weekend, with a final decision set to be made on Wednesday (Lions 10/11, Australia 10/11, draw 16/1 – Third Test – 80 Minutes).

“We’re hoping that they will be ready. The final decision won’t be taken until tomorrow,” Irvine said. “They are all making good progress. The medics are reasonably hopeful.”

The Lions have been hit by plenty of injury withdrawals on the tour so far – the latest hard-hitting blow being skipper Sam Warburton’s KO thanks to the hamstring injury he sustained in the 16-15 defeat in Melbourne.

In his absence either Sean O’Brien or Justin Tipuric will be selected at number seven in Sydney, with Irishman Brian O’Driscoll expected to take the captaincy.

“It’s a serious blow because Sam started the tour with a knee injury but got better as the tour progressed,” Irvine said of Warburton’s injury.

“In the first half he was the outstanding player on the park. He’s extremely disappointed that he’s not available. On the positive side we’re fortunate that it’s one of the positions where we have tremendous reserve strength.”

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