Peter O'Mahony is out of the World Cup and it looks very bleak for Paul O'Connell
After 108 Tests for Ireland, Paul O'Connell appears to have reached the end of the road.
The television pictures looked back, yesterday. The news is bad today.
Peter O'Mahony is out of the World Cup and O'Connell is not far behind.
Ireland beat France 24-9 in Cardiff to march on, unbeaten, in the tournament. They will have to continue on without their captain and back row talisman.
Team manager Mick Kearney confirmed, this morning, that O'Connell sustained a "significant hamstring injury" and has been hospitalised. He is awaiting further scans today but management are not optimistic.
It is suspected that the lock has torn his hamstring off the bone and will now face an extended spell on the sidelines.
Given that O'Connell was going to retire from Irish international duty after the World Cup, his 40-minute outing at the Millennium Stadium is almost certainly the last time we see him in a green jersey.
However, Rob Kearney revealed that O'Connell did make it into the victorious Irish dressing room after the final whistle. Kearney commented:
Paul was beaming from ear to ear at the end, it's small moments at the end that make changing rooms pretty special.
The update, according to Kearney, is a 'little more encouraging'. The out-half has a groin strain and it is, at present, "unclear" if he will feature in Sunday's quarter final against Argentina.
It is unclear whether O'Connell will choose to battle back from his latest injury set-back in order to line out for Toulon, his new club.
It took Cian Healy just under four months to get back from a similar injury [upper hamstring tear] last season.
Each injury is different but that could potentially rule the 35-year-old out until late January at the earliest - meaning he would miss Toulon's Champions Cup meetings with Leinster.
O'Connell has a one-year contract with Toulon, with the option of a second, so this could be it for the Limerick legend.