Lenihan: O’Connell should stay at home

Donal Lenihan believes bringing Paul O’Connell to New Zealand for Ireland’s three-test series against the All Blacks is a mistake.

The former Ireland and Lions manager believes the Munster skipper would be better served with a summer off to recover from a serious knee injury.

“This time next year Stephen Ferris, Sean O’Brien and O’Connell should be in pole position to tour Australia with the Lions on what looks a very demanding itinerary,” Lenihan says. “One wonders will their bodies hold up that long.

“O’Connell is in a race against time to make the first test against the All Blacks on Saturday week, but at what cost?

“Given the multiple retirements Munster have endured this season, it is imperative for their development that O’Connell is fit and ready to play from the outset of next season under new coach Rob Penney. One hopes that attempting to beat the odds on two successive occasions to play after that knee injury doesn’t come at a price in the not too distant future.”

* See Donal Lenihan column.


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