British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (L) and captain Sam Warburton.
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (L) and captain Sam Warburton. David Rogers / Getty Images

Lions captain Warburton may miss first rugby tour match

BRITISH and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton may be a non-starter in tomorrow's tour opener against the Barbarians in Hong Kong.

The Welsh flanker injured his knee in training earlier this week, and failed to train on Wednesday.

Coach Warren Gatland was due to name his team overnight, but with nine games to be played when the Lions arrive in Australia, he is unlikely to take a risk on Warburton.

Veteran Irish lock Paul O'Connell, the 2009 Lions tour captain in South Africa, is likely to lead out the side in Warburton's absence.

Prop Gethin Jenkins (calf) has already been ruled out.

The Lions first game on Australian soil is against the Western Force in Perth on Wednesday.


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