LONDON - England prop Dan Cole will miss the remainder of the Six Nations because of a neck injury, it has been announced.
The Leicester front-row is suffering from a bulging disc in his neck which has trapped a nerve.
His injury was diagnosed during a training session at St George's Park, the England national football team's Midlands training base, earlier this week.
Cole will now miss England's three remaining Six Nations matches, starting with the Twickenham clash against tournament leaders Ireland this coming Saturday.
"It's massively disappointing for Dan, Leicester and England but the important thing is that this has been diagnosed and that Dan gets the appropriate rest and treatment," said England coach Stuart Lancaster, who had been hoping to name an unchanged side to play the Irish.
The 26-year-old Cole has become something of a mainstay since making his debut off the bench against Wales in 2010.
And the absence of the 48-times capped forward, who also played in all three Tests during the British and Irish Lions 2-1 series win in Australia last year, leaves Lancaster with an unwelcome headache.