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Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 12:54 UK

Hook passed fit for Lions bench

EMERGING SPRINGBOKS v BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Date: Tuesday, 23 June Venue: Newlands, Cape Town Kick-off: 1810 BST (1910 local time)
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra & online and score updates on BBC Sport website
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James Hook is helped from the field in the Lions' win against the Southern Kings
Wales fly-half James Hook had enjoyed an impressive Lions tour

James Hook will continue on the British and Irish Lions tour after being examined by a neurologist on Monday.

Hook sustained a head injury last week and if had been found to be concussed the fly-half would have been stood down automatically for three weeks.

The Wales and Ospreys player has been named on the bench for Tuesday's game against the Emerging Springboks.

"James has been cleared and the whole protocol was followed," said Lions head coach Ian McGeechan.

"We made a late call this morning [in terms of who got selected at fly-half on Tuesday]."

Wales team-mates Shane Williams, Andy Powell and Martyn Williams all start at Newlands, Cape Town, for the Lions.

All four players will hope to catch the selectors' eyes for Saturday's second Test against South Africa in Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria.

Hook was helped off in the Lions' bruising win against the Southern Kings after just 12 minutes following a nasty blow to the head and was replaced by Ronan O'Gara, who captains the Lions against the Emerging Springboks.

606: DEBATE
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"We just felt with selection for this game... that Ronan needs some game time, logically it was the best way round to to do it. [O'Gara to start, Hook on the bench]," McGeechan added.

"But making sure we could have him [Hook] involved was the most important thing from my point of view."

Despite a stirring second-half fight-back in the first Test, the Lions lost 26-21 in the series opener in Durban.

Full-back Lee Byrne came off injured in that defeat just before half-time at Kings Park and the Lions will continue to monitor a suspected recurrence of a long-standing foot problem.

McGeechan says the prognosis on Byrne is encouraging: "The medics are having a good look at his foot. I think it is alright.

"He is recovering well and did part of the training this morning [Monday].

"They are reasonably confident that he will be fine [for Saturday's second Test] but we didn't want to push it for Tuesday's game."

Lions doctor James Robson confirmed: "It is probably a mild recurrence of a previous injury... inflammation or tearing of the structure that holds the arch of the foot.

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


Emerging Springboks: Zane Kirchner (Blue Bulls); Luzuko Vulindlu (Sharks), Deon van Rensburg (Leopards), Morgan Newman (Western Province), Bjorn Basson (Griquas); Earl Rose (Golden Lions), Jano Vermaak (Golden Lions); Wian du Preez (Free State Cheetahs), Bandise Maku (Blue Bulls), Werner Kruger (Blue Bulls), Steven Sykes (Sharks), Wilhelm Steenkamp (Blue Bulls), Dewald Potgieter (Blue Bulls, capt), Jean Deysel (Sharks), Duane Vermeulen (Western Province).
Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg (Western Province), Pat Cilliers (Sharks), Franco van der Merwe (Golden Lions), Jacques Botes (Sharks), Heini Adams (Blue Bulls), Willem de Waal (Western Province), Danwel Demas (Free State Cheetahs).

Lions: Keith Earls (Munster/Ireland); Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales), Riki Flutey (London Wasps/England), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster/Ireland), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster/Ireland); Ronan O'Gara (Munster/Ireland, capt), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England); Tim Payne (London Wasps/England), Ross Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland), John Hayes (Munster/Ireland), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster/Ireland), Nathan Hines (Perpignan/Scotland), Joe Worsley (London Wasps/England), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales).
Replacements: Lee Mears (Bath/England), Phil Vickery (London Wasps/England), Simon Shaw (London Wasps/England), David Wallace (Munster/Ireland), Mike Blair (Edinburgh/Scotland), James Hook (Ospreys/Wales), Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England).



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see also
Emerging Springboks 13-13 Lions
23 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions eye changes for second Test
21 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions call for Wasps prop Payne
21 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
South Africa 26-21 Lions
20 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Southern Kings 8-20 Lions
16 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Sharks 3-39 Lions
10 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Cheetahs 24-26 Lions
06 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Golden Lions 10-74 Lions
03 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Royal XV 25-37 Lions
30 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions squad selector
07 May 09 |  Rugby Union
2009 Lions: Squad & results
09 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union


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