With less than a week to go until the Lions’ first Test against the All Blacks, coach Warren Gatland is sweating on the fitness of Owen Farrell and Leigh Halfpenny.
The former suffered strain in his quad earlier in the week, while the latter came off for an HIA with suspected concussion during the Lions’ 32-10 victory against the Maori All Blacks on Saturday.
While Gatland is still massively confident that Farrell would take his place in the starting XV for next Saturday’s test (either next to Johnny Sexton in the centre or instead of him at fly-half), Halfpenny’s situation would not be clear until HIA protocol was carried out.
“I was always confident about Owen Farrell being fit.
“I was never not confident.
“Leigh Halfpenny obviously took a knock on the weekend and he is going through the HIA protocols. Apart from that it’s just bumps and bruises with some guys a little bit sore.”
Gatland also confirmed that George Kruis was taken off on Saturday due to an injury concern. The England lock was replaced early in the second half and this was due him having a tight calf:
“We took George Kruis off relatively early because his calf was a little bit tight,
“A couple of boys have got tight groins, tight hamstrings and tight muscles, but nothing the doctor thinks is going to be of concern for too long.
“Playing at this level you are always going to get bumps and bruises, but we are in pretty good shape at the moment.”
The above injuries will be assessed further in the early part of this week, before confirmation of the first Test starting XV to come towards the weekend.