Cape Town - Ireland have received a blow ahead of the third Test against South African in Port Elizabeth with centre Robbie Henshaw ruled out.
According to the Irish Independent, Henshaw injured his knee in last Saturday’s second Test in Johannesburg and will be operated on.
The Leinster-bound centre is understood to have damaged his cartilage when tackling Lionel Mapoe during the second-half of his side’s 32-26 defeat to the Springboks. He was replaced by Ian Madigan.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is unlikely to call up a replacement and has options within his squad to fill the gap at outside centre.
Prior to this tour, Jared Payne has played all of his international rugby in the No 13 jersey and could revert there with Tiernan O'Halloran starting, while Luke Marshall could also return to the side alongside Stuart Olding who played at inside centre on Saturday.
The series is locked at 1-1 heading into Saturday’s final Test.