©INPHO/Dan Sheridan Tommy Bowe holds up his hand X-ray.
# Lions 2013
X-ray confirms Tommy Bowe is fighting fit and ready for Second Test call
Head coach Warren Gatland has told his entire Lions squad their chance for Test heroics is yet to come.

“HERE HE IS, Tommy Bowe. Number one guy. He’s back.”

So declares Lions winger Simon Zebo in his tour diary piece for the team’s official website. The Munster man is correct – Bowe is back in the picture and ready for a Second Test call after a frustrating three weeks on the fringes.

Bowe, who broke a bone in his hand in the Lions tight win over the Queensland Reds, went for an x-ray in Melbourne today as well as a consulation with Dr Pete Rowan in Melbourne. The prognosis was good and Bowe will now hope he can add to the Test caps he picked up on the Lions tour of 2009.

Alex Cuthbert’s superb try against Australia last Saturday means it is unlikely Bowe will get the 14 jersey but coach Warren Gatland is a self-professed fan of the the Irish winger. Gatland, speaking after his side’s 35-0 win over the Melbourne Rebels, stressed that his midweek side came through the game intact and all have a chance of featuring in either of the next two Tests.

He said, “A couple of guys have got some knocks but I spoke to the medics and everyone seems to have come through OK. Sometimes it is the next day, as we found out at the weekend with Paul O’Connell. We’ll just have to wait and see in 24 hours. At this stage everyone looks pretty good.

“There is still a situation for everyone to be involved. You look at last Saturday and the attritional rate. There are bound to be a few more guys injured before the Final Test. You want the guys that are not involved in the next two Tests to know that, hopefully, they were involved in a successful Lions tour… These guys have been fantastic ambassadors for the four home nations.”

Dr Pete Rowan checks Bowe’s healing hand in Melbourne. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Gatland added, “We had that discussion, as coaches, that if Kurtley Beale had kicked one of those kicks at the end of the First Test and we had lost, what sort of changes we would’ve needed. We thought that we would’ve made some changes and articulated that to [the entire squad].”

The Kiwi also addressed the matter of his scrumhalf selections for the Second Test. He names his team in the early hours of Thursday morning and is expected to go with Mike Phillips, who under-performed against Australia, ahead of the two No.9′s that scored tries against the Rebels.

He said, “The tough thing for Mike is that he has been troubled by that knee injury all tour. I have been very pleased with Conor Murray and thought he had another good game today and Ben Youngs… it wasn’t his greatest performance against the Brumbies but he was great coming off the bench [against the Rebels].

“We’ve got different nines that have all added to the squad and brought quality. It gives us that nice dilemma with who we start with and who sits on the bench at the weekend.”

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