2 Jun 2013

Wallabies suffer injury woes ahead of Lions series

2:57 pm on 2 June 2013

The Australia rugby side have suffered several major injury setbacks with three leading players out of the squad to play British and Irish Lions.

Number eight Scott Higginbotham, lock Sitaleki Timani and winger Digby Ioane have all been forced out of the initial 25-man squad.

Higginbotham dislocated his shoulder in the Melbourne Rebels' 33-20 loss to the Queensland Reds in Brisbane last night, while Timani injured his thumb in the New South Wales Waratahs' loss to the Crusaders on Friday night.

Ioane, who was not expected to play in the first Test anyway, has dropped out because he was unable to train following recent knee surgery.

The Melbourne Rebels halfback Nick Phipps Phipps, Waratahs lock Kane Douglas and Western Force loose forward Ben McCalman come in as replacements.

They will assemble in Sydney on Sunday with the rest of the squad for a three-week camp to prepare for the first Test in Brisbane on June 22.