/ Six Nations 2014

Paul O'Connell warns Ireland: There's more to Wales than 'Warrenball'

Updated: Friday, 07 Feb 2014 16:36 | Comments

Paul O'Connell is back in the Ireland team having been forced to withdraw from the game against Italy through a chest infection
Paul O'Connell is back in the Ireland team having been forced to withdraw from the game against Italy through a chest infection

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Wales boast far more attacking subtlety than their bulldozing 'Warrenball' typecasting, according to Paul O'Connell.

The Ireland captain has warned his team-mates to beware Wales' savvy dummy lines off the ball behind the scrum in Saturday's Six Nations showdown in Dublin.

O’Connell challenged Ireland not to fall for any short-sighted views on Warren Gatland's attacking blueprint.

The Australian press coined the term ‘Warrenball’ to account for Gatland's bruising, straight-running rugby on the summer's British and Irish Lions tour. O'Connell laughed it off back in June, and said Ireland must do likewise this weekend.

"I think it's a bit of an unfair tag, obviously because they're big men you just think their game's all about physicality," said O'Connell. "It is something they do, but they do it with a lot of subtlety, they have a lot of animation out the back, pulling defenders away.

"And you saw that last weekend with the try that Jamie Roberts created for Scott Williams in their win over Italy."

O'Connell stressed the skill involved in the Welsh style of play.

"I think they have incredibly skilful players, incredibly talented players all across the pitch, and I suppose the fact they're all big men just adds to that," he said.

"’Warrenball’ made an interesting headline during the summer, but there's a lot more to their game than that."

Wales laboured to an opening-weekend 23-15 victory over Italy in Cardiff, and Ireland saw off Scotland 28-6 in Dublin.

Skipper O'Connell was forced to withdraw at the last minute with a chest infection last weekend, but has since made a full recovery and has been named in the Ireland side to play Wales.

Live television coverage of Ireland v Wales and Scotland v England from 13:30 on Saturday 8 February, and France v Italy from 14:30 on Sunday 9 February on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage on Saturday Sport (14:00) and Sunday Sport (14:00) on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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