Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony has been ruled out of the rest of the Rugby World Cup, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said yesterday, after being among three key players injured in the 24-9 pool-topping win over France.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said on Sunday that he suspected captain Paul O’Connell had played his last international after injuring his hamstring but the Six Nations champions are more upbeat on flyhalf Johnny Sexton’s damaged groin.

“Paul is in hospital awaiting a scan. Johnny suffered a groin injury and is awaiting a scan but we’re hopeful,” the IRFU said on Twitter.

Ireland, who avoided any serious injuries before centre Jared Payne was sent home with a fractured foot on Saturday, lost O’Mahony in the second half of the hugely physical test when his foot stuck in the grass and he twisted his knee.

Schmidt, who was initially hopeful that the injury looked the least serious of the three, has further backrow problems for the quarter-final against Argentina as Sean O’Brien was yesterday cited for striking France’s Pascal Pape in the stomach.

No decisions on squad replacements for O’Mahony or Payne have been made.


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