The Lions dream is over for flanker Alan Quinlan after he was found guilty of eye-gouging.
Quinlan’s suspension came after he was found to make contact with the eye area of Leinster captain Leo Cullen during Munster’s semi-final loss in the European Cup. The ban lasts until 9 September and includes 12 playing weeks and will also keep him out of the first game of next season.
Quinlan has 72 hours to appeal, but after his surprise inclusion his spot is likely to be taken by Tom Croft or Ryan Jones.
Former Sharks wing and now Munster manager Shaun Payne said 34-year-old Quinlan is understandably depressed.
‘Obviously this was going to be the pinnacle of Quinny’s career,’ Payne told BBC Sport.
‘He is absolutely distraught and very, very disappointed, and I think any person who enjoys rugby will know what that means to him.’
The Lions meet next Monday for a training camp in Surrey and Quinlan is the third player from the original squad to be ruled out. Mike Blair has replaced scrumhalf Tomas O’Leary, but a substitute for centre Tom Shanklin hasn’t been named.