Centre Jared Payne has been ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured foot, Ireland have confirmed.
Ireland had insisted that Payne would be fit to contest selection for Sunday’s crucial World Cup clash with France, but further investigation of his foot problem has revealed a fracture.
“Following training on Wednesday, due to continued discomfort, Jared had further scans which revealed a foot fracture,” read an Ireland statement.
“He will be returned to Ireland for specialist opinion and will take no further part in the tournament.
“No decision on the replacement will be made until after Sunday’s fixture at the Millennium Stadium.”
Andrew Trimble and Noel Reid will be in the frame to replace Ulster centre Payne after Sunday’s Pool D decider against France.