Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton has been ruled out of Saturday's Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome because of a foot injury.
Just two hours after being named in the starting XV for the Stadio Olimpico, Sexton has been withdrawn after tearing a tendon in training on Thursday morning.
Paddy Jackson, who deputised for Sexton against Scotland and France while the Leinster playmaker recovered from a hamstring injury, will continue in his absence.
"A scan has confirmed that he has torn a tendon in his left foot and is therefore ruled out this weekend," read an Irish Rugby Football Union statement.
The loss of Sexton is yet another cruel setback to a team that has endured a staggering number of injuries throughout the 2013 Six Nations.
While Jackson was impressive in last Saturday's 13-13 draw with France, Ireland were eager to restore the leading contender to be Lions fly-half against Australia to the side.
Having recovered from the hamstring injury sustained against England in the second round of the championship, Sexton was on course to pull the strings in his team's push for a third place finish.
But Ireland's injury curse struck again when 27-year-old turned on his foot in training this morning in what was initially viewed as a minor complaint, only for a scan to reveal the true extent of the damage.
Brian O'Driscoll will play potentially his final Six Nations match after being included among the XV.
O'Driscoll, along with centre partner Luke Marshall, was concussed against France, but both players have been passed fit to face Italy.
Craig Gilroy returns on the right wing after overcoming a groin strain, replacing rib-fracture victim Fergus McFadden.
The pack is unchanged from the eight that started against France with lock Donnacha Ryan being given a clean bill of health after taking a bang on his shoulder at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Substitute scrum-half Eoin Reddan fractured his leg against France, so uncapped Ulsterman Paul Marshall wins a spot on the bench that includes Devin Toner.
Kidney explained that Toner's line-out prowess earned him the nod over Donncha O'Callaghan as second row cover. Ian Madigan supplies fly-half cover for Jackson.
Ireland have never lost to Italy in the Six Nations with their last defeat to the Azzurri coming in 1997.
Victory in Rome, combined with France dispatching Scotland in Paris, would secure a third-placed finish - a reasonable return given the number of injuries they have endured in the championship.
But defeat, also combined with a French win, would thrust them into contention for the wooden spoon.
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