British and Irish Lions: Sam Warburton sidelined for series decider
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton will miss the final Test against Australia in Sydney.
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter: @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 01/07/13 1:04pm
Warburton damaged his hamstring during the 16-15 second Test defeat to Australia at the Etihad Stadium.
And a full medical assessment on the injury on Monday has revealed that Warburton has suffered a "significant tear in his left hamstring".
Warburton said: "It is incredibly disappointing to be ruled out of the tour through injury as we head to Sydney for the deciding match.
"I wish the team all the best and hope I can play some part in the build-up this week. I am confident that the boys can finish the job off and secure the series win."
Warburton, who had remained behind in Melbourne with team doctor Eanna Falvey for treatment, will now team up with the rest of the squad and remain on the tour.
Brian O'Driscoll, the 2005 tour skipper, is set to take over the reins as captain, while head coach Warren Gatland will have to assess his back-row options.
Justin Tipuric had been in superb form during the tour games, while Sean O'Brien had caught the eye coming off the bench against Australia in Melbourne.
The injury completes a frustrating tour for Warburton, who had missed the early matches with a knee problem.
The 24-year-old then struggled for form, with Tipuric and O'Brien having impressed in his absence. However he had seemed to be back to his best for the Test matches.