Ireland face Argentina in a Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Sunday, and must do so without their captain.
Paul O’Connell’s tournament, and international career, were brought to an end last weekend, when he suffered a torn hamstring during the match against France.
After today’s team announcement, head coach Joe Schmidt was asked if O’Connell would be in the dressing room before Sunday’s match.
“That’s unlikely,” he answered. "Once someone is outside the group, as influential Paul is and as talismanic as he is, he will be around but he hasn’t actively been involved in preparing the team.
“However, he has been around and that alone gives players confidence.”
The Limerick lock underwent surgery today to repair his hamstring and Schmidt revealed that it had been a success.
"I think his surgery went very well and he seems to be in good humour, based on what he’s putting up online,” he laughed.
Earlier today, O’Connell posted a picture of paper underpants on Instagram and captioned it: “The underwear has been the highlight of the operation so far #nofilter”.
Schmidt said: “That’s a good sign for us."
Simon Lewis, Rugby Correspondent with the Irish Examiner speaking to Shaun Cronin, Head Sports Reporter, breakingnews.ie after Joe Schmidt named his Irish team to play Argentina on Sunday. Video by Dan Linehan