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James Hook ruled out of Lions' first Test

James Hook and Euan Murray were both ruled out of the British and Irish Lions' first Test against South Africa on Saturday following injuries picked up during the 30-8 win over the Southern Kings yesterday.

Both players were earmarked to make the bench for the first of the three game series against the Springboks, Hook for his versatility, goal kicking and eye for a gap while Murray was expected to be named as cover for both the propping positions.

But Murray injured his ankle after seven minutes and Hook suffered a blow to the head which now threatens to rule him out of the rest of the tour. The Lions management must wait to see if the Welsh player has concussion which would see him miss at least three weeks of rugby.

The potential loss of Hook would leave the Lions with just two recognized goal kickers in Steven Jones and Ronan O'Gara after third choice kicker Leigh Halfpenny was forced to return to the UK through injury.

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