Ireland will be without the services of key players Leah Lyons and Michelle Claffey for the rest of their Six Nations campaign.

Claffey was forced off with an ankle injury just before half-time during Ireland's meeting against Italy in Round 3, and will now require surgery for the problem.

Meanwhile, Lyons is facing a four to six-week lay-off with a shoulder injury.

Claffey previously lined out for Ireland in their Six Nations games against England and Scotland before sustaining the ankle injury during the two-point defeat to Italy.

Ireland produced a battling display against the Italians in Parma in February, and will be hoping to get their Six Nations campaign back on track when they host France on Saturday evening.