Munster hooker Michael Sherry is to join the Ireland squad in New Zealand as "precautionary cover" for Rory Best.
Best is rated doubtful for Ireland's World Cup quarter-final against Wales after he sustained a shoulder injury in the win over Italy on Sunday.
Best was forced from the action early in the second half and is undergoing a rehabilitation programme.
Ireland's other experienced hooker Jerry Flannery has already been ruled out of the tournament.
Ireland would have to apply formally for Sherry to join the 30-man World Cup squad should the need arise.
Sean Cronin came on for Best on Sunday while Damien Varley is the other hooker in Declan Kidney's squad.
"Rory Best is still progressing with his rehabilitation this week and while he is still rated doubtful for the Wales game, we felt it was prudent to bring Mike Sherry down to New Zealand as precautionary cover," said Ireland manager Paul McNaughton.
"We expect Mike to arrive in New Zealand on Thursday," he added.
Best has been a key component in a hugely impressive Ireland scrum in the tournament and has also excelled in the loose.
Paul O'Connell, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury in recent weeks, also left the field early in the second half in Sunday's 36-6 win but his withdrawal is understood to have been precautionary.
The Irish didn't appear to sustain any other major injury concerns in the Pool C clash in Dunedin.