Paul O’Connell Says What All Ireland Fans Want To Hear About The Six Nations

It’s on.

Paul O’Connell says Ireland don’t need to pretend that their isn’t a possible Grand Slam on the cards. Joe Schmidt’s men have won their first three games in the Six Nations, with a first Grand Slam since 2009 now very much in their sights.

Ireland host Scotland this weekend, before a huge potential decider against England at Twickenham on Paddy’s Day a week later. But O’Connell says Ireland will be focused on the immediate task first and foremost, and that’s Scotland on Saturday.

“I don’t think you need to pretend that there isn’t a Grand Slam on, I don’t think you need to do that at all,” O’Connell said.

“But one of the biggest strengths of the Irish team is that they don’t look too far ahead. They talk about just being next-moment focused.

“I’d say they won’t be looking much beyond the first half against Scotland, not to mention looking at the England game.

“They will have a healthy amount of respect for Scotland and Gregor Townsend as a coach.

“I think Joe, having coached against him, certainly with Glasgow, and a lot of the players have played against Glasgow, they know how good they are.

“They know how good Finn Russell is as a player – how good he can be I suppose, if you let him be good.

“Listen, they chat to each other. They are well aware that there is a shot at a Grand Slam. They wouldn’t be burying their heads in the sand and pretending there isn’t.

“But at the same time, they won’t look far beyond the first half against Scotland. That’s the policy and it always has been.”


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