Following training on Wednesday, due to continued discomfort, Jared Payne had further scans which revealed a foot fracture. 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 tomorrow’s final Pool D match against France at the Millennium Stadium.
Jared Payne started at outside centre in Ireland’s opening two Rugby World Cup 2015 matches against Canada and Romania, scoring the final try in the 50-7 win over the Canadians in Cardiff.
The Ulster back, who turns 30 next Tuesday, has made 10 Test starts to date for Ireland. He was ever-present in midfield alongside Robbie Henshaw during last season’s title-winning RBS 6 Nations campaign.
Commenting today at the Captain’s Run press conference, Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek said: “We’ll probably make some decisions around that (Payne’s replacement) after the game. There are a few players in the stand-by squad and we have enough in that.
“In terms of what happens, we’ll wait and see the outcome of tomorrow first. It’s a massive loss and we really feel for him. He’s been a mentor to Robbie. He is so helpful with so many in the team. A big decision maker in our team and there is his defensive record as well.
“It was a bit of a moment for him today. It’s always tough to lose one of your ‘family members’ like that. His foot just got rechecked this week. Yesterday evening he got the confirmation.
“You try to include him and we wanted to try to get him out there this week, but it was also about managing that process while we were finding out how he was.”