Dylan Hartley could actually receive a shock Lions call-up
With the Lions Tour drawing closer, the injury updates have become a daily occurrence.
Friday's (first) edition of the worrying injury doubt news stars Ken Owens. The Wales hooker sustained an ankle injury playing with the Scarlets this week and will be assessed by the Lions before the squad heads to Dublin on Sunday.
He has already been ruled out of the Scarlets’ Pro12 semi-final against Leinster on Friday night. Even if they defeat the Irish province, Owens won't be fit in time to feature in the final on 27 May.
So it all comes down to the assessment. Should Owens be ruled out for more than two weeks, Warren Gatland would have to consider whether to replace him before the Lions head to New Zealand on 29 May.
If Owens can't make the trip, then the door would be left wide open for incomparable England hooker Dylan Hartley.
Dylan Hartley fact #634: He blocked us on Twitter after we wrote this article https://t.co/jGGCfiCWFI
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) January 25, 2016
Hartley was on course to make the squad until his clothesline tackle on Sean O'Brien resulted in a lengthy ban that really set him back. Although he lead England to their second Six Nations in a row, Gatland opted for Rory Best, Jamie George and Owens.
His main rival for to replace Owens would be Ireland's Sean Cronin, who is ahead of Scotland's Ross Ford and Wales' Scott Baldwin in the pecking order. However, despite Hartley deserved reputation for being a dirty player, he is easily the most experienced option and the only the only captain of Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales not to be included in the original squad.