Ireland – Paul O’Connell Warns Of The Effect The Springbok Supporters Could Have


Paul O’Connell spoke to the media today as the Ireland team trained in Johannesburg ahead of the first test match on Saturday in Pretoria.

O’Connell spoke about the importance of the breakdown at crucial moments in the game, “The breakdown has become a massive part of the game everywhere. You look at the French final, the European Cup final, you look at France and South Africa and the way they are playing, it is a real battlefield.

“It’s gone back a little bit old school where teams are a lot more willing to risk putting numbers into the breakdown and creating a little bit of havoc in that breakdown.

O’Connell said that the home supporters at Loftus could have a major influence on the outcome of the test.

“You know what the place is going to be like. It’s a fantastic stadium with brilliant traditions. The fans love it, they love playing a part in the game. So you have to be aware of that.“

“For us, it’s about focusing on ourselves as much as possible. When we do that, we tend to do alright. When teams become distracted by the noise outside it becomes exactly that, a distraction,” O’Connell said.