Owens blow for Scarlets

Faith Castro
May 19, 2017

Dylan Hartley missed out on a British & Irish Lions tour in 2013 after being sent off in the Premiership final and banned, but the England captain is likely to be called up for next month's trip to New Zealand if the Wales hooker Ken Owens fails to recover from an ankle injury.

But the injury, which was suffered during training with the Scarlets this week, will keep him out of the semi-final against Leinster, live on Sky Sports, and makes him doubtful for the final in Dublin on May 27. Scotland flanker John Barclay will captain the Scarlets in Owens' absence.

If Owens was to be ruled out of the 10-game New Zealand tour - the Lions leave for Auckland in 11 days' time - then 31-year-old Hartley would be an obvious replacement.

The Wales global has already been assessed by the Lions medical team and they will take another look at the injury prior to the squads training camp in Ireland next week. The Lions were informed and the hooker travelled to the Vale of Glamorgan, where the tourists have had a training camp this week, to be medically assessed. Stuff does happen, and players get injured.

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Hartley was a controversial omission from Warren Gatland's initial 41-man squad after leading England to a world record equaling run of 18 consecutive wins and back-to-back Six Nations titles.

"Hopefully, Ken is going to be fine..."

Best, asked about Owens's injury on Thursday, told reporters: "From his point of view, to miss a semi-final is going to be gutting, and you just hope it is not too bad. With a bit of luck, everything is going to be okay for the Lions".

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