Dublin's hopes of being the first side to retain the All-Ireland football title since Kerry in 2007 have taken a major blow.
Following Dublin's draw with Wexford in the O'Byrne Cup on Sunday, Jim Gavin confirmed to the Irish Times that Rory O'Carroll is moving to New Zealand for a year.
Yeah, Rory has decided to go away during the 2016 season. He’s moving to New Zealand, so he won’t be a part of us for the year.
But we wish him the very best. We’ve always said to players it’s important to get the life balance, between family, their profession, and their sport. We will miss him, but we certainly wish him the best, and he goes with the sun on his back. And we look forward to the day when Rory puts on a county jersey again, and his club, Kilmaud Crokes, who will miss him as much as us.
The fullback is just off the back of an excellent 2015. It was a year in which he claimed his third All-Ireland medal and his second All-Star award.
Given that fullback has proved to be a problem position for Dublin in the past, it will be interesting to see how Jim Gavin copes without the 26-year-old.
Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE