Andrew Trimble ruled out of Ireland's remaining Six Nations games
Andrew Trimble will miss the rest of Ireland's RBS 6 Nations campaign after suffering a hand problem in action for Ulster.
Ireland have called in Ulster's Tommy Bowe as a replacement ahead of Friday's clash with Wales in Cardiff.
Luckless wing Trimble had only just shaken off a groin injury for Ireland's 19-9 win over France in Dublin in February but will now miss the crucial showdowns with Wales and England.
Ireland could yet land a third title in four years with two victories, but will miss the contrast offered by powerhouse wing Trimble's size and strength.
"Andrew Trimble sustained a hand injury against Treviso at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday night and has been ruled out of the final two rounds of the RBS 6 Nations Championship," read an Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) statement.
Ireland have often been keen to pair Trimble's power with the more subtle talents of their backline, but the new setback suffered in Ulster's 19-7 win over Treviso denies boss Joe Schmidt that option.
Ireland must also do without Connacht lock Ultan Dillane, who will be sidelined for at least two months after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Head coach Schmidt will now hope to have stalwart full-back Rob Kearney back in full training on Monday.
Kearney had been battling a hip issue but is now thought to be ready to return to action.
The British and Irish Lions full-back's return could offset Trimble's loss, with Ulster's Jared Payne then likely to go head-to-head with Garry Ringrose to start at outside centre in Wales.
"Ultan Dillane will undergo surgery this week for an ongoing shoulder issue," the IRFU statement continued.
"He will be ruled out of action for eight to 10 weeks.
"Rob Kearney is progressing well through his rehab of a groin injury and is expected to train fully on Monday.
"Ulster's Tommy Bowe has been added to the squad."
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