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Ireland forward Rory Best is facing a spell on the sidelines after suffering a suspected broken arm against New Zealand.
The Irish were left heartbroken after the All Blacks nicked a last-gasp 24-22 victory and the injury to Best rubbed salt into the wounds.
Best lasted just 15 minutes of the game at the Aviva Stadium and had to be replaced shortly after scoring Ireland’s second try.
A spokesman for the Irish RFU confirmed the player had suffered a ‘serious lower arm injury’ and is now facing several weeks on the sidelines.
The injury to Best is also bad news for his club side Ulster as the hooker could miss several of their matches, including Treviso in the Heineken Cup.
Ireland will want the player fully fit for the start of the Six Nations, which begins with a game against Scotland on February 2, but he will face a race against time to make it.
Meanwhile, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt could not hide his disappointment with the defeat as he felt his side deserved to take more from the game.
Ireland led 22-17 late on before Ryan Crotty’s try, which was converted by Aaron Cruden, snatched victory for the All Blacks.
“You’ve got to be prepared to defend until the final seconds and we didn’t,” he said. “We have to live with that now. A draw would also have been a loss to us.”