Paul O’Connell confirms Ireland trio set to miss Rugby World Cup opener


Ireland coach Paul O’Connell has confirmed that the men in green will be without three key players for their Rugby World Cup opener against Romania on Saturday.

Dan Sheehan, David Kilcoyne, and Jack Conan will all be absent this weekend as Ireland look to continue their excellent run of form.

Sheehan injured his foot in the win over England, with Conan and Sheehan out since the Italy game but all three are on track to be fit for the game against Tonga next week.

“Everyone’s going well; there are a few guys still finishing their rehab and they won’t be involved at the weekend,” O’Connell said

“But by and large, we’re close to a full bill of health.

“Dan and Jack Conan (will not be involved). David Kilcoyne as well is struggling a little bit but should be OK next week.”

This is O’Connell’s first Rugby World Cup as a coach, but he has been able to use his experience as a player to bring in some key learnings.

“One of my experiences would have been in 2007, being overtrained a little bit and probably got the hotel wrong, got the food wrong a little bit, and fuelling is such a big part of preparation,” O’Connell added.

“Your temptation as a player is to train as hard as you can, but you need to leave something in the tank a little bit as well. And your temptation as a coach is the same, I would say.

“The other thing is sometimes you feel like you come to a World Cup and you need to reinvent the wheel a little bit.

“We want to evolve and get better for sure, but it’s not about reinventing anything, and those are my two lessons.

“I think Andy, even though he wasn’t involved with Ireland, would have had similar experiences and would be trying to put a similar strategy in place.”

The Ireland team will be announced on Thursday.

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