Eddie O'Sullivan's preparations for Ireland's RBS 6 Nations opener with Italy on Sunday have been hit by the withdrawal from the squad of lock Leo Cullen.
Cullen has a back injury and will be replaced by Leinster's Ben Gissing, with both Ulster second-rows Gary Longwell (neck) and Matt McCullough (foot) unavailable.
Auckland-born Gissing has been in good form for his province, scoring in his their 55-3 Celtic League thrashing of the Newport-Gwent Dragons on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Munster flanker Alan Quinlan is recovering from the broken nose he suffered in his side's 32-17 loss at the Llanelli Scarlets on Saturday night. The 30-year-old has retained his place in Eddie O'Sullivan's squad.
The starting line-up and substitutes for Sunday's match will be announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Iain Henderson's start to the new season may have been denied by a hip injury but he's not short of support on his road to recovery - Ulster teammate Stuart Olding vowing to do all he can for the Ireland lock.