Ice cool ahead of fiery first Lions tour match

Former Munster out-half Ronan O’Gara believes the Lions making their debuts tomorrow in Hong Kong will be given a massive boost after Warren Gatland named Paul O’Connell captain for the opening match.

O’Gara soldiered with O’Connell for Munster, Ireland and the Lions and heralded the Limerick second row as one of the best he ever played under.

“The tour officially started with that announcement,” he wrote in his exclusive Irish Examiner column on Page 27 of today’s paper.

“There will be no uncertainty now, because it’s no longer a bonus fixture against the BaBas. The fellas getting a start are getting a nice treat with him as leader.

“There is little doubt now but that they will hit the ground running.

“In 2009, the tone was set on the first day in the meeting room by Paulie in Pennyhill Park Hotel. He spoke from the heart and within 15 minutes of coming together, the mood for the tour was set. Fantastic. O’Connell is a perfectionist. He’s a very powerful and impressive figure when he stands up.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Munster braced for bruising battle

Leinster’s first-half dominance pays rich dividends

Fourth straight win sees unbeaten Ulster go top

Connacht bid to end early season crisis


Breaking Stories

Super gesture as loyal supporter lifts All-Ireland cup with Kildare captain

Irish showjumping trio make history in Barcelona

CJ Stander’s leadership qualities shown by ‘player mic’ during win over Edinburgh

West Ham fans want to go back to Upton Park after latest loss at new home

Lifestyle

London Design Festival will inspire your next interiors project

Be inspired by this award-winning Galway home

The top 6 trends for S/S 2017 from London Fashion Week

Tempting recipes from Paula Lambert’s cookbook Cheese Glorious Cheese

More From The Irish Examiner