Ireland second row Tadhg Beirne has been ruled out of the remainder of the Six Nations with an ankle injury sustained against France on Saturday.
Beirne, 31, limped off during Ireland’s 32-19 victory over France at the Aviva Stadium.
The IRFU confirmed that he will require surgery, which will keep him out of action for at least 12 weeks.
Beirne will be unavailable for Ireland’s remaining games against Italy, Scotland, and England.
The Munster player will also miss United Rugby Championship matches and the province’s Heineken Champions Cup last-16 tie at Sharks in April.
Beirne had started the previous 14 games for Ireland under head coach Andy Farrell before limping out of the game against France.
Ulster captain Iain Henderson took over for Beirne against France and could team up with James Ryan against Italy.
Other options for Farrell include Leinster’s Ryan Baird and Joe McCarthy, as well as Connacht’s Cian Prendergast.
Ireland leads the Six Nations table ahead of a round-three trip to Italy in Rome on February 25.
Robbie Henshaw, Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson-Park, Dan Sheehan, and Cian Healy are already out.