NEWPORT, 12 Oct - Ireland coach Joe Schmidt faces a day of waiting after Peter O'Mahony was ruled out of the rest of RWC 2015.
Team manager Mick Kearney confirmed on Monday morning, at the team's headquarters at the Celtic Manor Hotel, Newport, that O'Mahony (pictured) would return to Dublin later in the day to see a specialist after suffering knee ligament damage in Sunday's 24-9 defeat of France at the Millennium Stadium.
With Jared Payne already ruled out, with a foot injury, and both Paul O'Connell (hamstring) and Jonathan Sexton (groin) undergoing scans later on Monday, Schmidt might have to find as many as four replacements ahead of next Sunday's quarter-final clash with Argentina in Cardiff.
Connell's World Cup is almost certainly over, having spent the night in hospital with what appears to be a serious hamstring tear. Sexton, meanwhile, is quietly confident that his aductor muscle injury is not as bad as first feared.
Still, any good news on the outside half could be tempered if flanker Sean O'Brien is cited for punching French lock Pascal Pape in the early moments of Sunday's brutal Pool D contest in Cardiff.
Kearney said; "Paul O'Connell has suffered a significant hamstring injury and was hospitalised overnight and is having scans later today to clarify the extent of the injury.
"Peter O'Mahony has suffered a knee ligament injury and is returning to Dublin today for a specialist opinion and will take no further part in the tournament.
"Johnny Sexton suffered a groin injury and the initial clinical assessment is encouraging and we await scanning later today.
"After an incredibly physical encounter a whole host of players are reporting bumps and bruises and soreness and will have to be managed. But there is nothing worse than that.
"As soon as we have more clarity on the injury front we will be in a position to make decisions on replacement players.
"The coaches did meet this morning to discuss a number of different options."
The squad, who will move into Cardiff on Monday, have been granted a complete rest day and will resume light training on Tuesday.
On O'Brien, Kearney said: "We are all aware of the incident obviously. The citing officer has 36 hours to cite. We haven't heard anything from the match officials at this stage and any further comment would be inappropriate at the moment."