Scrum half Kieran Marmion has become the latest Ireland player to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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Fresh from Leinster confirming that Sean O’Brien would be out for 8 to 12 weeks after surgery on an arm injury he picked up against Argentina and Robbie Henshaw facing a 4 to 6 week absence because of a hamstring problem, Connacht have revealed that their star scrum half has been forced to go under the knife.

Marmion has been the preferred choice as back-up to Conor Murray for the last couple of years and started in Ireland’s 16-9 win over the All Blacks on Saturday at the Aviva.

It means that Leinster’s Luke McGrath or Ulster’s John Cooney will get the nod to start on Saturday against the USA, however Marmion was always likely to be rested for that Test.

In a statement Connacht said “Kieran Marmion will undergo surgery this week on an ankle injury and will be out of action until February”.

Marmion is now in a race to be fit in time for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against England at the Aviva on February 2nd, with Ireland facing Scotland a week later in Edinburgh.

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Marmion’s performances for Ireland during the November internationals has seen him jump up 17 places in RPI rankings for the world’s best scrum halves.

The news comes just a day after Munster revealed that Murray had returned to full training. Ireland’s first choice scrum half has not played since Ireland’s 2-1 series win over Australia in June.

He is line to play against Zebre in the PRO14 on Sunday.

Marmion is not the only person to pick up a knock from the All Blacks win, the IRFU said that Man of the Match Peter O’Mahony suffered a dead leg, with his training load to be managed accordingly this week.

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Watch:  Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and captain Rory Best react to win over All Blacks

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