Ireland will not be able to count upon the services of Tadhg Beirne nor Iain Henderson for their Guinness Six Nations opener against England after the duo were both injured on club duty last weekend.
The 27-year-old Beirne starred in Munster’s Champions Cup victory over Exeter Chiefs last weekend but the man of the match was forced off with a knee injury and will now miss the opening two rounds of this year’s Championship.
And Henderson, also man of the match as Ulster won at Welford Road, has suffered a finger injury that is likely to keep him sidelined for several weeks. This fresh injury is unrelated to his recently injured thumb.
Connacht’s Quinn Roux, 28, has been drafted in by head coach Joe Schimdt as cover at lock.
Meanwhile, Adam Byrne has also been brought into the Ireland squad for their pre-Championship training camp in Portugal but Rob Kearney and Jack McGrath will remain with club side Leinster in a bid to get game-time under their belts in the Guinness PRO14 this weekend.