Jerry Flannery has been ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby World Cup because of a calf injury, with Damien Varley called up to the squad.

Flannery suffered a tear of his left calf during training yesterday morning in Auckland.

An MRI scan has confirmed the severity of the tear, which will require four to six weeks rehabilitation, before he is able to return to playing.

Following Flannery's withdrawal, Sean Cronin has been named in the replacements for the Rugby World Cup Pool C clash with Australia on Saturday.

A decision has been made to call up Varley to the squad and he is expected to arrive in New Zealand by Saturday.

Commenting on the injury to Flannery, Ireland team manager Paul McNaughton said: “Obviously it is particularly disappointing for Jerry to have suffered this injury at this point in the tournament.

"With the fact that he is out for four to six weeks, we needed to make the decision to fly Damien Varley down as soon as possible.

"Sean Cronin will step into the replacements seamlessly this weekend which shows the importance of having experience and depth in the squad.”

The injury casts doubts over Flannery's career, with the Munster forward having spent much of the last year in the treatment room with calf problems.

He was selected on the bench for all four of last month's warm-up internationals and the 22-10 victory over the United States in last Sunday's World Cup opener.

Flannery was pushing hard for a place in the starting line-up after impressing during his substitute appearances.