By Micil Glennon
Ireland lock Paul O’Connell has conceded that earning a place on the Lions’ summer tour to Australia is going to be ‘very difficult’.
The 33-year-old underwent back surgery last week and, after targeting an April return to action, will miss the entire RBS 6 Nations campaign.
The Munster forward said: “You’d imagine the Lions squad would be picked on the basis of the Six Nations so it’s going to be very difficult for me to make it on that trip. But I’d love to get back playing in April and see what happens.
“I remember the hype around the Lions four years ago, it seems to be even bigger this year but the big hype is around the Six Nations, and the players that show form in the Six Nations so it is going to be very tough not playing in that tournament.”
"You’d imagine the Lions squad would be picked on the basis of the Six Nations" - Paul O’Connell
O’Connell last played for Munster in October and stressed the importance of giving himself plenty of time to get back to full fitness.
He said: “I think it will be some time in April.
"It would be great if it was early April but I’ve just got to make sure that I get [the recovery] right so that I’m right for the rest of my career.”