Jared Payne: Ireland and Ulster centre out for three months
Ireland and Ulster centre Jared Payne will miss the start of the Six Nations after being ruled out for three months with a kidney injury.
Payne sustained the injury during the first half of Saturday's 27-24 victory over Australia in Dublin.
The 31-year-old will miss the Six Nations matches against Scotland, Italy and France.
Fellow Ulster player Andrew Trimble is out for a fortnight after picking up a foot injury against the Wallabies.
The wing suffered a "tendon issue" and was forced off after 30 minutes at the Aviva Stadium.
In a statement, the Ireland team management added that full-back Rob Kearney was "removed" from the pitch as a precaution.
Kearney was a doubt for the game because of concussion and he sustained a blow to the head before being taken off.
Payne was replaced at the interval and now faces a lengthy lay-off, with his absence a major blow to both Ireland and Ulster.
He could return for Ireland's final two Six Nations fixtures, away to Wales on 10 March and then a Dublin game against England eight days later.