Rory Best & Conor Murray Explain How They Plan On Coping Without Paul O’Connell This Sunday


Paul O’Connell is gone. As much as it pains us to say it, it’s time to move on with preparations and concentrate on reaching a first semi-final for Ireland.

Jamie Heaslip will captain Ireland this weekend and hooker Rory Best believes that he and Heaslip will be able to pick up some of the slack.

With Paulie missing we have both Jamie and myself who captain Leinster and Ulster respectively,” Best said.

So it’s important that you have guys that stand up and lead by example, doing the preparation well, train well and play well.

If you try to do too much then it can be detrimental to you as a leader, so while Paulie’s leadership will be a loss everyone has to step up.

They’re not going to have their hand held by Paulie’s leadership this week.

We’ve got take a lot of ownership for the leadership now, and I think it’s a good place to be for us as a squad.

Come Sunday at one o’clock on the pitch there won’t be anyone to hold your hand, and if it’s anything like last week you won’t be able to hear each other anyway.


Conor Murray also believes that Heaslip may feel some added pressure with the extra responsibilities he has to shoulder on Sunday but the scrum-half reckons Heaslip is just the man for the job.

It’s probably important not to force it too much,” Murray said.

Paulie’s a huge voice, but there’s always other voices in the changing room too.

Jamie will probably feel a bit more pressure to get the lads motivated and rallied but I think the week we’re in, a lot of players are already motivated and don’t need to be pushed much.

Jamie’s been there and done it, he’s a great fella in the squad, gets on with everyone and he’s a great person to have in that role.”

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