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Lions Legend Calls For Paul O'Connell To Be Added To Upcoming Tour Over Andy Farrell

Lions Legend Calls For Paul O'Connell To Be Added To Upcoming Tour Over Andy Farrell
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Despite being still being in the infancy of his coaching career, Paul O'Connell is already forging quite the reputation in the game.

His influence on the Ireland pack was clear to see during the Six Nations, with the side much more assured in the line-out than they had previously been under Andy Farrell.

The former Munster man is likely to have a long coaching career, but could he add a major feather to his cap this summer?


With Ireland's tour to Fiji this summer cancelled, it has been suggested that Andy Farrell could join the Lions coaching staff this in July after Ireland's tests against the USA in Dublin. However, one person who knows what it takes to achieve success on such tours thinks Warren Gatland should instead look to bring O'Connell on board.

Writing in his column for The Telegraph, 1997 tour winning coach Ian McGeehan said that O'Connell is the coach that should be targeted from the Ireland setup.

If there was one Ireland coach I would be looking at bringing in, it would not be Farrell. It would be Paul O'Connell.

The lineout is the one area in which the Lions have no specialist coach and O'Connell is a master operator. We saw in the most recent Six Nations the impact he has already had on Ireland's lineout.

And while the Lions have very experienced operators in Alun Wyn Jones and Maro Itoje, and while Robin McBryde can do a job, there is no doubt in my mind that O'Connell would add a huge amount.

Paul knows what the Lions are all about. He has been on three tours as a player, was a wonderful captain in 2009 and if there was one coach I'd look to parachute in mid-tour it would be him.

Farrell has previously been on Gatland's coaching staff for the the last two tours. However, McGeehan worked with O'Connell on both the 2005 and 2009 Lions tours, so he knows what the 41-year old can bring to the camp.


It would certainly be an interesting addition.

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