Paul O'Connell looks ahead to...


Paul O'Connell looks ahead to World Cup

RedFM News
RedFM News

06:59 6 Sep 2023

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Ireland forwards coach Paul O’Connell says lessons have been learned from the mistakes of previous World Cups.

They’re among the favourites for the tournament which gets underway this Friday, despite never having been beyond a quarter-final.

Dan Sheehan, Dave Kilcoyne and Jack Conan have been ruled out of Ireland’s first pool fixture with Romania, but it’s hoped they can face Tonga a week later.

O’Connell says the coaching staff have full faith in the squad’s abilities for the tournament in France.

"Sometimes you feel like you come to a World Cup and you feel like you have to reinvent the wheel a little bit. We want to evolve and get better for sure, but it's not about reinventing anything, those are my two lessons.

"I think Andy [Farrell], even though he wasn't involved with Ireland, would have had similar experiences and will be trying to put a similar strategy in place."

Scrum half Jamison Gibson Park could potentially make his World Cup debut this weekend, and says it will be a moment to savour if he runs out against Romania.

"It would be pretty awesome to get out there and have a run. Obviously I'm a bit of a late bloomer, 31 at my first World Cup.

"It would pretty awesome to get a run out, it's the pinnacle of rugby. You want to test yourself in the toughest environment. It's supposed to be 30 odd degrees, so it should be fun if I get a run out! But yeah, looking forward to it."

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