Rugby Union: Dallaglio suffers Lions heartbreak

by PETER JACKSON, Daily Mail

Lawrence Dallaglio dropped out of the disintegrating Lions tour last night - and there could be worse to come.

No sooner had the England No.8 been declared unfit because of the recurrence of a knee injury than the Lions admitted that Ireland hooker Keith Wood may miss the three-Test series starting in

Brisbane on Saturday. Wood damaged his left knee during the explosive 41-24 win over New South Wales in Sydney and will be replaced in the squad by Leicester's Dorian West.

Reserve hooker Robin McBryde is doubtful with a thigh injury and centre Will Greenwood is out of the Test with damaged ankle ligaments.

The Lions, furious over the beating taken by fly half Ronan O'Gara at the hands of full back Duncan McRae, were still reeling from Greenwood's elimination when they were told last night that the gamble on Dallaglio's fitness had backfired.

Dallaglio, who could be out for six months, said: 'This is terribly disappointing because I worked so hard to get this far.'

Meanwhile, O'Gara spoke of the hammering he took from McRae. 'I got trapped on the ground,' he said, 'and felt at least 10 punches coming in. If I'd been expecting that sort of thing, I would have been able to defend myself better than I did.'

The anger within the Lions ranks was summed up by England wing Austin Healey. 'What McRae did was an act of cowardice,' he said. 'Every member of the squad hopes that Duncan comes back to play in Britain.'

On a day of rugby mayhem, Argentina prop Roberto Grau was banned for three weeks for kneeing New Zealand prop Troy Flavell during the Pumas' 67-19 defeat in Christchurch and former France captain Fabien Pelous accused South Africa of systematic violence in the Springboks' 20-15 victory in Durban.

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