DUBLIN Jan 6 Ulster's Iain Henderson and Tommy Bowe will miss Ireland's defence of their Six Nations title through injury, the province's coach and one of the players were quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Henderson, who was expected to take over from the retired Paul O'Connell at second row after making a big impact at last year's World Cup, will likely miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, Ulster coach Neil Doak told local media.
Bowe picked up a knee ligament injury at the World Cup and told the BBC that he had to rule himself out of the Six Nations but hoped to return before the end of the season for Ulster.
Prop Cian Healy also underwent minor knee surgery on Tuesday and will be out for three to four weeks, his province Leinster said, making him a doubt for Joe Schmidt's side's Six Nations' campaign opener at home to Wales on 7 February. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Alan Baldwin)