Ireland centre Jared Payne was on Saturday ruled out of the World Cup with a foot fracture.
The 29-year-old New Zealand-born back had been suffering from nagging foot pains and was not selected for Ireland’s Pool D decider against France at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Sunday.
“Following training on Wednesday, due to continued discomfort, Jared had further scans which revealed a foot fracture,” the Irish Rugby Union said in a statement.
“He will be returning to Ireland for specialist opinion and will take no further part in the tournament.
“No decision on a replacement will be made until after Sunday’s fixture at the Millennium Stadium.”
Payne is a huge loss to the Irish as he had formed an effective partnership with Robbie Henshaw — replacing the legendary duet of Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy — which had seen them play a leading role in Ireland retaining the Six Nations title this year.