Lynagh leaves hospital
Michael Lynagh stood with his customary poise, only the length of a few torpedo kicks away from the Ballymore rugby ground in Brisbane where he starred for Australia, explaining how he had lost some vision, but otherwise survived a potentially fatal stroke. The 48-year-old Lynagh, a pivotal player in Australia’s 1991 World Cup triumph, was released from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital yesterday morning, a week after being moved out of intensive care and just over two weeks after arriving in an ambulance after complaining of serious headaches and blurred vision. He told a roomful of media at the hospital that apart from losing almost half the vision on his left side, he is otherwise in good shape. He said he was having a few low-strength beers with some old schoolmates in a low-key gathering when he lost vision after a coughing fit triggered when he laughed and took a sip of his drink at the same time. As innocuous as it seems, particularly for somebody who had experienced the rough and tumble of rugby for so long, a doctor said it was the kind of “minor trauma” that could trigger the kind of stroke Lynagh suffered. A split wall in an artery in the back, right side of his neck triggered the stroke, the doctor said. He said the type of stroke was often fatal, but rare for a person of Lynagh’s age.
Byrnes fined over comments
Melbourne Rebels lock Adam Byrnes has been fined a total of A$7,500 (US$7,750) by SANZAR for his “unwarranted and serious verbal attack” on Waratahs center Tom Carter. Byrnes, who has not played for the Rebels since round two of the Super 15, was found by SANZAR judicial officer Nigel Hampton to have committed an “act of misconduct” for his comments published in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper in March. The comments came after Carter alleged he was eye-gouged by Byrnes in their March 2 game. Byrnes was initially found guilty, but successfully appealed a 10-week ban, with SANZAR finding there was no conclusive evidence. In the March newspaper article, Byrnes said Carter’s allegations were a “disgrace” and “a very poor quality to have as a human being.”
Croft to miss SA tour
England flanker Tom Croft will miss the three-Test tour of South Africa because of a neck injury, leaving newly appointed coach Stuart Lancaster with some selection dilemmas in his back row. Croft was ruled out of contention on Tuesday, a little more than a week after he was carried from the field on a stretcher while wearing a neck brace during an English league match for Leicester Tigers. “He won’t be available for the tour — that neck injury is sufficiently serious to rule him out,” Lancaster said. With Tom Wood injured and Calum Clark suspended, Lancaster will have to revise his back-row options before naming a squad of 42 players next week. James Haskell missed the Six Nations after being one of England’s flankers during last year’s World Cup in New Zealand, but could be in contention to return to the squad after playing for Super 15 side Otago Highlanders. Haskell recently received a three-week suspension for punching, but will be available for the England tour, which also includes two midweek games. Hooker Rob Webber, lock Courtney Lawes, scrumhalf Joe Simpson and winger Charlie Sharples will be England’s other main absentees because of injury. The Tests against the Springboks come on consecutive weekends, starting on June 9.