Keith Earls ruled out of Ireland's Six Nations campaign by injury

Keith Earls was carried off in Munster's Heineken Cup win over Edinburgh on Sunday

Munster winger Keith Earls will miss Ireland's Six Nations campaign after suffering a knee injury in Sunday's Heineken Cup win over Edinburgh.

A Munster statement said Earls, 26, would be out for six to eight weeks after scans revealed that he had sustained medial ligament damage.

Earlier this week, Earls signed a new two-year IRFU contract which will keep him at Munster.

Ulster wing Tommy Bowe is likely to miss Ireland's early Six Nations games.

The former Ospreys player has been out of action since late November because of a groin injury.

Despite the injuries to Bowe and Earls, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt still has plenty of wing options.

Dave Kearney started against the All Blacks in November while the other contenders will be Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald, Andrew Trimble, Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy.