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Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Sunday, 21 June 2009 13:04 UK

Lions call for Wasps prop Payne

Tim Payne
Wasps prop Tim Payne has played for England this summer

The British and Irish Lions have called up Tim Payne as cover amid worries over Andrew Sheridan's back injury.

Sheridan has had soreness since the win over Southern Kings on Tuesday, leading to the call for Wasps prop Payne.

But the Lions are hopeful James Hook and Lee Byrne will be passed fit to face Emerging Springboks on Tuesday.

Full-back Byrne gave the tourists their latest injury worry by limping off in the 26-21 first Test defeat by South Africa in Durban on Saturday.

Head coach Ian McGeechan said: "We simply can't go into this week without sufficient cover at loose-head prop as we play the Emerging Springboks and the Springboks in the space of five days.

"Tim Payne will arrive match fit having played in all three of England's recent international matches against the Barbarians and Argentina.

It is a very painful and often recurrent condition... it may have well been that he [Byrne] has pulled a few fibres

Lions doctor James Robson

"We are still hopeful that Andrew Sheridan will respond to the medical regime he is undergoing."

Hook also suffered his injury against Southern Kings and there were more bumps and bruises in the wake of the first Test.

However, the Lions are confident worries over Tom Croft (calf) and Tommy Bowe (elbow) will ease this week.

Lions doctor James Robson said of Byrne: "We have only done our initial assessment and the aim at the moment is to get him to the point where he is fit for selection on Tuesday.

"It is probably a mild recurrence of a previous injury... inflammation or tearing of the structure that holds the arch of the foot, principally.

"It is a very painful and often recurrent condition... it may have well been that he has pulled a few fibres."

Robson says Hook will be assessed by an independent neurosurgeon on Monday, adding: "He's now done various grades of activity with no ill effect, he's done non-contact rugby activities with no ill effect and we have high hopes for him."

Gethin Jenkins (black eye), Jamie Roberts (shoulder), Martyn Williams (knee) and Paul O'Connell (teeth) are also among the walking wounded.

In the first-Test aftermath, ex-Wales and Lions centre John Devereux feared Wales star Byrne could be ruled out of the two remaining Tests after being taken off in the 37th minute.


Devereux told BBC Radio Wales: "This foot problem he's had with a tendon and the instep of his foot has caused him a lot of problems.

"I hope there's no recurrence of that because if that's the case he's going to struggle to play any more part in the tour."

Osprey Byrne, who was replaced by Ireland's Rob Kearney when the Lions trailed 19-7, has a history of ankle and foot problems.

Byrne is the latest in a long line of injury problems for the Lions.

The tourists lost Scotland prop Euan Murray to an ankle injury in the first-Test build-up.

The Lions have also seen Ryan Jones come and go after the Wales captain was diagnosed with concussion on arrival in South Africa to replace Irishman Stephen Ferris (knee).

Before that Wales' Leigh Halfpenny and Tom Shanklin, along with Ireland scrum-half Tomas O'Leary, had to withdraw from the tour due to injury.

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Lions can square series - Roberts
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South Africa 26-21 Lions
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SA v Lions 1st Test as it happened
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South Africa v Lions photos
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Springboks fail to impress in win
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Sport Wales - The Byrne identity
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Lions squad selector
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2009 Lions: Squad & results
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