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Ireland's Payne out for three months with kidney injury

Ireland's Payne out for three months with kidney injury

The news will come as a major blow to Schmidt as he is likely to have to plan without Payne for Ireland's first three Six Nations games against Scotland, Italy and France.

The IRFU revealed that Payne suffered a kidney injury in the first half at the Aviva Stadium and as a result, he is facing at least three months on the sidelines.

Jared Payne is in danger of missing Ireland' Six Nations campaign.

The 31-year-old has a slim chance of returning to action for Ireland's final two Six Nations clashes, in Wales on March 10 and against England in Dublin eight days later.

Payne went into Ireland's three-point victory over the Wallabies on Saturday carrying a lower-limb tweak, but was able to shrug it off and pass late fitness checks to take the pitch.

The Ulster star was hoping to play his part in the tournament in 2017 but suffered an injury during Ireland's win over Australia last time out.

There was more bad news for Ulster fans, as Andrew Trimble was ruled out for the next few weeks with a tendon problem in his foot.