Jared Payne: Ireland and Ulster centre out for three months

Jared Payne goes clear in last weekend's victory over Australia at the Aviva Stadium
Jared Payne goes clear in last weekend's victory over Australia at the Aviva Stadium

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.

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