Munster full-back Felix Jones will be out of action for four months after it was revealed that he requires an operation on his shoulder.
The 24-year-old was forced off during Munster’s RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final defeat to the Ospreys and will now also miss Ireland’s summer tour to New Zealand.
The news comes as a huge blow to Jones, who had already been ruled out of last year’s World Cup with an ankle ligament injury which kept him out for six months.
Jones’ skipper at Munster Paul O’Connell will also miss Ireland’s game against the Barbarians at the end of the month however there is more promising news for him this summer.
Declan Kidney revealed that O’Connell – who missed the RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final defeat – is still in contention for the summer tour although he will not feature against the Barbarians.
According to an IRFU statement read: “He has not been ruled out of contention and a final decision on his availability will be made after the Barbarians game.”
Kidney added: “The game against the Baa-Baas is vital for us in our preparations for the tour as it gives some players the chance to gain match fitness if they have not played for a couple of weeks, allows us to further expose some players to the national set-up and also gives us the opportunity to get some foundations in place for the Test series.”