Niamh Briggs said she's "devastated and heartbroken" to miss the World Cup after injury cruelly robbed the inspirational captain of the chance to lead her country's glory mission on home soil.

The brilliant full-back missed the Six Nations due to a hamstring injury but had battled back to fitness and done enough to convince Tom Tierney she was ready for August's tournament in Dublin and Belfast.

However, the 32-year-old suffered an injury to her Achilles in training and on Monday the IRFU confirmed Briggs would play no part in the competition.

"Needless to say I'm absolutely devastated and heartbroken to be missing out on the World Cup.

"To compete and captain this squad in a home World Cup would have been a dream come true, but unfortunately it's not for me.

"I've been incredibly humbled with all the good wishes from everyone so from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

"I look forward to getting out and supporting this amazing group now and know first hand the hard work that's gone into preparing for this tournament.

"I can't thank the management and medical staff in the IRFU enough for all their hard work and dedication in trying to get me back.

"My focus is firmly on rehabbing this and getting back better and stronger for next year's Six Nations."

Ireland begin their World Cup against Australia in the UCD Bowl on Wednesday 9 August, before clashes with Japan (Sunday, 13 August) and France (Thursday, 17 August).

At a glance: Ireland's Rugby World Cup pool rivals

Watch all of Ireland's World Cup games live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player