Kearns' future in doubt
The long career of Australian hooker Phil Kearns could be over after he suffered a serious foot injury in his team's 23-3 World Cup win over Ireland.
Kearns limped from the field in the first half of the match on Sunday afternoon and x-rays on Sunday evening showed extensive ligament damage to his right foot which will require surgery.
Former skipper Kearns is defintely ruled out of the tournament, which Australia are bidding to win for the second time.
"It's not the way I wanted to end my World Cup campaign," said a dejected Kearns, who has played in 67 tests and three World Cups.
The 32-year-old Randwick player had been expected to retire after the tournament and the injury is an extra blow in that it comes after a revitalised period in his career after an Achilles tendon injury kept him out of action for 18 months.
Kearns' place in the Wallaby starting side for the remainder of the tournament will be taken by New Zealand-born Jeremy Paul.
Brendon Cannon is expected to be called up as back-up for Paul and fellow hooker Matt Foley.
Australian captain John Eales, who suffered a groin strain against Ireland, will be out of action for 10 days, but will miss only the meaningless match against the United States in Limerick on Thursday, Australian officials said.
Eales is expected to be fit for the quarter-final in Cardiff on October 23, where Australia are likely to play Wales.