Ireland have been dealt a major blow ahead of Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against the All Blacks with midfielder Bundee Aki handed a three-match ban for a dangerous tackle.
The former Chiefs player, born in Auckland, was red-carded in Ireland's 47-5 win against Samoa for a high tackle on UJ Seuteni.
The 29-year-old faced a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo last night and was hit with a three-week ban which would rule him out of the World Cup final if Ireland were to make it.
"The player sought to overturn the red card," a World Rugby statement said.
"Having considered all the angles of the incident, together with evidence from the player and his representatives, the committee upheld the decision of the referee."
Aki has 48 hours to appeal the decision.
Robbie Henshaw is now expected to partner Garry Ringrose in midfield for the quarter-final clash between the two sides that were rated one-two in the world on the eve of the tournament.