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Donncha O'Callaghan
Blair a late withdrawal from Lions Side
6 June 2009, 12:44 pm
By Chris Byrne
Scrum-half Mike Blair was been forced out of the Lions replacements bench for this afternoon's clash with Western Province in Cape Town

Blair sprained a ligament in his foot in training yesterday that failed to settle adequately overnight and with Mike Phillips obviously been kept wrapped up for the Test a week hence, wing Shane Williams is drafted onto the bench.

Meanwhile the fifth game of the tour presents an opportunity for the likes of Donncha O'Callaghan and Keith Earls to nail down a place among the 22 for the opening Test game. Although coach Ian McGeechan insists that all bets are off with regard to selection until after Tuesday's game against the Coastal XV, that is obviously not the case and the Scot and his management team will fill in the extra blanks once the medics have given the thumbs up to the contenders performing today.

Those include O'Callaghan, Earls and Tommy Bowe who only needs to continue the good form he has shown to date to secure the number 14 jersey. Earls may be looking at best at a place on the bench while O'Callaghan is a surer performer as a number two jumper than Alan Wyn Jones.

Western Province: Joe Pietersen, Tonderai Chavhanga, Morgan Newman, Peter Grant, Gcobani Bobo, Willem de Waal, Dewald Duvenhage, Luke Watson (c), Duane Vermeulen, Pieter Louw, Anton van Zyl, Martin Muller, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw.Replacements: Hanyani Shimange, JD Moller, De Kock Steenkamp, Zandre Jordaan, Conrad Hoffmann, JJ Engelbrecht, Gio Aplon

British & Irish Lions: Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Riki Flutey, Ugo Monye, Stephen Jones, Harry Ellis, Andrew Sheridan, Matthew Rees, Phil Vickery (captain), Donncha O'Callaghan, Nathan Hines, Joe Worsley, Martyn Williams, Andy Powell. Replacements: Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Simon Shaw, Tom Croft, Shane Williams, James Hook, Gordon D'Arcy

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

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