Ireland suffered a huge blow when flank David Wallace was ruled out of the World Cup after suffering a knee injury in the team's final warm-up match, a 9-20 loss to England, at Lansdowne Road here on Saturday.
"David took a very bad bang on the knee, and while we don't know the exact prognosis, it rules him out of the World Cup," Ireland coach Declan Kidney told reporters.
Wallace, 35, was carried off on a stretcher after being tackled into touch by England centre Manu Tuilagi in the 21st minute.
Kidney added Wallace, capped 72 times by his country and a member of Ireland's 2009 Grand Slam winning team, had reacted as well as could be expected to the disappointment of missing out on this year's World Cup, which starts in New Zealand next month.
"He took it like the man he is. I've never seen a man as physically fit as he is right now. It's heartbreaking for him, but that's the cut-throat nature of sport."
Kidney, who said Ireland had still to name a World Cup replacement for Wallace, also defended playing a warm-up fixture against England, well known for their physical approach, so close to a World Cup.
"We knew Australia were playing New Zealand this (Saturday) morning.
"The players needed games and we wanted to challenge ourselves against the best."
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