Ireland talisman Paul O'Connell is forced out of their opening Autumn International against South Africa with a back injury.
Munster forward Paul O'Connell has been ruled out of Ireland's opening Autumn Test match against South Africa though injury.
O'Connell returned to training earlier this week in a bid to prove his fitness for Saturday's match, but suffered a recurrence of a persistent back problem.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has a number of selection problems ahead of the Springboks' visit, with Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney and Rory Best all sidelined.
An international veteran with 85 caps, O'Connell was expected to captain Ireland against South Africa before being forced to withdraw.
Kidney will name his starting XV to play at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
O'Driscoll, Best ruled out for Ireland >