Lions in Australia: Ireland winger Simon Zebo called up as cover for Tommy Bowe
Last Updated: 09/06/13 11:41am
Simon Zebo: 'Over the moon' at Lions call
Ireland winger Simon Zebo has been called into the Lions squad as cover for injured compatriot Tommy Bowe.
Zebo took a telephone call from Lions tour manager Guy Richardson after helping Ireland to a 15-12 victory over the US Eagles in Houston on Saturday.
And the Munster man is on his way to Australia after Bowe suffered a broken hand during the weekend warm-up against Queensland Reds.
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Zebo said: "I'm absolutely over the moon. It is the best news I could ever have dreamed of.
"As a professional (Irish) rugby player the ultimate goal is to be a British and Irish Lion. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do that if I get my cap. That is something I have to work towards now."
Bowe has had his surgery and could yet play some part in the tour, but the first Test in Brisbane on June 22 is likely to come too soon.
A statement from the Lions confirmed the Zebo move and reiterated that Bowe would be monitored closely to see how his recovery goes.
"Ireland's Simon Zebo will join the British and Irish Lions as cover for Tommy Bowe," it read.
"Zebo will fly from Houston, Texas on Sunday evening and arrive in Sydney on Tuesday morning, meeting up with the squad in Newcastle ahead of the game against Combined Country.
"Bowe underwent surgery this morning to stabilise a bone fracture in his hand and his condition will be assessed over the next few days."
Lions head coach Warren Gatland said of Bowe: "The surgeon told him if everything goes alright it could be just a couple of weeks. Once the plate goes in his hand the bone is fixed, basically."