Paul O'Connell and Frankie Sheahan have both been forced to withdraw from the Ireland squad for next month's permanent tsb autumn internationals due to injury.
Munster lock O'Connell requires surgery on the left hand that he injured in his seasonal debut against Llanelli Scarlets last month. The 26-year-old Lion had the plaster removed from his damaged hand on Tuesday, but following examination, it was decided that the injury has not healed sufficiently.
Surgery will rule the Limerick man out for 3-5 weeks. No replacement will be added to the Irish squad.
Meanwhile, Sheahan, who scored Munster's only try in last Friday's Heineken Cup Pool One clash with Sale, has damaged neck ligaments and is facing a 6-12 week period on the sidelines.
A replacement for Sheahan in the Irish squad will be named this Sunday, October 30, following the secound round of the Heineken Cup's pool stages.