Dublin - Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt faces a taxing selection problem with the news young centre Garry Ringrose will miss November's three Tests in Dublin because of a shoulder injury.
The 22-year-old - whose centre partner Jared Payne is yet to play after suffering headaches on the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand - underwent surgery in July after the tour of the United States and Japan.
However, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said Ringrose - scorer of four tries in his 11 Tests since making his debut in November last year - had not recovered as quickly as they had hoped.
"Garry is still a bit off so he is probably looking at the end of November," said Cullen.
Ireland host South Africa in the opening Test on November 11 at Lansdowne Road then play Fiji a week later and round off their series against Argentina on November 25.
Schmidt could look to pair Ulster duo Luke Marshall and Stuart McCloskey in the centre or opt for the likes of Munster's Rory Scannell and Bundee Aki of Connacht.