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Republic of Ireland rugby team winger Simon Zebo Photo by: Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Im

Ireland star Zebo called up as cover by Lions after Tommy Bowe breaks bone in his hand

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Republic of Ireland rugby team winger Simon Zebo Photo by: Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Im

Ireland’s Simon Zebo helped his team beat the USA Eagles in Houston and was then called up to join the Lions tour in Australia.

The Munster winger has been added to the Lions squad as cover for fellow Irish star Tommy Bowe.

Ulster wing Bowe is out for at least two weeks after undergoing surgery on a bone fracture in his hand.

Bowe picked up the injury in Saturday’s win over the Queensland Reds but hopes to be fit within a fortnight.

Zebo has been drafted in as cover and will arrive in Australia on Tuesday after playing for Ireland in the 15-12 win over America in Houston on Saturday night.

Corkman Zebo told RTE after the game: “I heard this morning that Tommy had an injury on one of the social media sites so I just had to stay focused and keep myself away from it, just try and go out and play well tonight.

“We got the win which was very important to us. I’m absolutely over the moon. It is the best news I could ever have dreamed of.

“As a professional Irish rugby player the ultimate goal is to be a British and Irish Lion. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do that if I get my cap. That is something I have to work towards now.”

The Lions are hopeful that Bowe may be fit in time for the first test against Australia on Saturday week.

Coach Warren Gatland said: “We just want to see how the operation goes.

“The surgeon who spoke to him said that if everything goes all right it could be just a couple of weeks. Once the plate is put in, the bones are fixed, basically.”

Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll will captain the Lions against a Combined Country XV in Newcastle on Tuesday.

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