DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland flanker Josh van der Flier will miss the rest of the Six Nations after being ruled out for the season on Monday with a serious right knee injury.
Van der Flier damaged knee ligaments in Ireland's bruising 15-13 win over France in Paris on Saturday.
No. 8 CJ Stander said losing Van der Flier from the squad was a major blow.
"He's a tough player, a physical player, he always pitches up, not just in games but in training," Stander said. "He lifts the energy of the whole squad and he's been around the players since coming in as a young fella and impressed all of us. He's going to be a big loss."
Dan Leavy replaced Van der Flier in the match, and was in pole position to start the second-round match against Italy on Saturday in Dublin. Jordi Murphy was an alternative openside option.
Meanwhile, Munster loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne rejoined the squad following his recent knee injury.