Peter O'Mahony (Getty)
Cardiff - Ireland flank Peter O'Mahony will
play no further part in the World Cup after suffering knee ligament damage in
their brutal victory over France.
And doubts over captain Paul O'Connell and
star flyhalf Jonny Sexton hung over Ireland as they countdown to a quarter
final against Argentina on Sunday.
All three went off injured in Sunday's
fiercely contested final Pool D match won 24-9 by the Irish at Cardiff's
"Peter O'Mahony suffered a knee
ligament injury and is returning to Dublin for specialist opinion. He will take
no further part in the tournament," said Ireland team manager Michael
"Paul O'Connell appears to have
suffered a significant hamstring injury and was hospitalised overnight.
"He's having scans later today to
clarify the extent of the injury."
Sexton, who limped off in the 25th minute,
sustained a "groin injury".
"Initial clinical assessment is
encouraging and we await scanning later today," Kearney said.
Asked whether Sexton would be available for
to play against Argentina, Kearney said: "That's not clear at this stage.
"But the news is a little more
encouraging than what we initially thought.
"At the moment, definitively only
Peter O'Mahony has been ruled out."
Fullback Rob Kearney, scorer of one of
Ireland's two tries, said the injury toll had spoiled the celebrations for the
supremely gritty Irish performance.
"You never like to lose players
through injury, also the calibre of some of the players and your captain as
well, it does take the gloss off it," he said.
"When you're in tournaments like this
where the physicality is so big, and you can see other teams suffering from it
too, you don't have huge amounts of time to sit around thinking about it.
"We have another massive Test match in
six days' time, we've got to keep looking forward and get on with it, as cruel
as it may sound."
O'Mahony's early departure follows that of
influential centre Jared Payne, who returned home with a foot fracture.
Replacements for O'Mahony and Payne should
be announced on Monday, manager Kearney said.
The Irish are also waiting to see whether
another star backrow forwards, Sean O'Brien, is cited over an incident
involving France lock Pascal Pape early in the game.
O'Brien was seen in television images striking
Pape in the stomach, poleaxing the French enforcer, who received treatment on
the pitch before continuing.
"We're all aware of the incident,
obviously," Kearney said.
"The citing officer has got a 36-hour
timeframe in which to cite. We haven't heard anything from the match officials
at this stage."
Coach Joe Schmidt argued after Sunday's
match that O'Brien had not landed a "closed fist" punch on Pape. With
World Rugby has been keen to clamp down on violent play.