Keith Earls on Friday pulled out of Ireland's opening Six Nations match with Wales, the IRFU confirmed.
The 24-year-old, scorer of 11 tries in his 26 tests, was due to replace the injured Brian O'Driscoll at centre for Sunday's match in Dublin, but he has now been forced to withdraw.
Earls, whose girlfriend gave birth to their first child last week, has been replaced by Fergus McFadden in the starting line-up.
"Keith Earls' young child [a baby girl] is still in hospital and hopefully will be out soon," an IRFU spokesperson told AFP.
"It was felt that Keith was better off not playing in the match on Sunday because of this and so he has been replaced by Fergus McFadden with Dave Kearney coming in on the replacements bench."
Kearney is the brother of starting fullback Rob.
Ireland - revised: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell (captain), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Tom Court, 17 Sean Cronin, 18 Peter O'Mahony, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Dave Kearney.
Date: Sunday, September 5
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Dave Pearson (England), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)
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