Ireland full-back Felix Jones has been ruled out of the World Cup because of a foot injury he suffered during the defeat to France on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Munsterman had only made his debut for Ireland in their first warm-up game against Scotland, but his impressive performances looked to have cemented his place on the plane to New Zealand.
However he was forced off in the second half of the 26-22 defeat to Les Bleus in Dublin, and it has been revealed he suffered ligament damage which will keep him out of action for approximately six weeks.
That could provide a reprieve for Geordan Murphy who had struggled to force his way back into contention since a broken foot which ruled him out of the whole of the RBS 6 Nations early in the year.
And Ireland manager Paul McNaughton admitted it was a big blow for the promising youngster.
“The squad and management are bitterly disappointed for Felix to suffer an injury at such a vital time in terms of selection for the final touring party,” he said.
“He had certainly put himself into contention over pre-season and the games in the last three weeks.
“We all wish him a speedy recovery and that he is back playing as soon as possible.”