Ireland will miss the services of Sean O'Brien in the upcoming World Cup scheduled later this year in Japan after the Leinster flanker suffered a hip injury.
O'Brien, who has missed 61 Tests including five for the British and Irish Lions has already featured in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups and has been a vital cog in Joe Schmidt's set up.
However, the 32-year-old missed Leinster's Pro14 final win over Glasgow Warriors last weekend with the Irish club confirming that O'Brien will undergo a surgery that will keep him six months on the sidelines.
The 6ft 2in back-row will also miss the start of the 2019/20 season for London Irish after signing a new deal with the Exiles and his move to the Madejski Stadium will also affect his national selection with Ireland giving preference to pick players featuring in the Irish provinces.
O'Brien made his professional rugby debut with Leinster and enjoyed four European Cups and three league titles since then with the Dublin outfit.
Meanwhile, Ireland will be relieved to have Josh van der Flier back after the Leinster flanker recovered from his injury to feature in the Pro14 title win over Glasgow at Celtic Park last weekend.