After notching their best performance yet on Saturday, the fly in the ointment for the British and Irish Lions might yet be a hamstring injury to in-form centre Jamie Roberts.
The Lions are blessed with depth in their midfield but a possible tear in Roberts’ right hamstring, which occurred in the 68th minute of the tourists’ 47-17 win against the Waratahs, will send a shiver down the spine of head coach Warren Gatland, who has consistently backed the powerful Welsh runner this tour.
After initial examinations pointed to a tear, Gatland backed away from the worst case scenario, saying post-match that nothing definitive would be known until the 26-year-old underwent scans on the leg on Sunday.
“The medics thought it might have been a hamstring but he says he’s never pulled a hamstring before so he’s not quite sure,” Gatland said.
“Fingers crossed that it may not be that, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
What the game takes away with one hand, it gives back with the other, with Roberts’ midfield partner Jonathan Davies putting in an outstanding performance to storm his way to the front of the line, especially should Roberts be ruled out.
“Given the quality of our midfield and the pressure he was under to respond, I thought it was one of the best games that I’d seen him play,” Gatland said.
“I thought it was an outstanding performance from Jonathan. It’s quite nice to come into the change rooms and see someone like [Ireland centre] Brian O’Driscoll say ‘How good was Jonathan Davies’. It’s almost the endorsement rather than the coaches saying it.”
Gatland indicated he would have no trouble using Davies at inside centre should Roberts be unavailable.
Manu Tuilagi is back training but is still reporting “soreness” in his shoulder, leaving the likely Test combination for next week’s series opener in Brisbane, should Roberts be ruled out, as Davies and O’Driscoll.
Late tour call-up Billy Twelvetrees is also available.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.