O’Connell stays cool ahead of Six Nations
A key plank of Ireland's Grand Slam success last year was a dramatic shift in mind-set within a squad whose confidence had crashed through the floor only weeks earlier.
This time a year ago, as they prepared for their opening joust with France, the renewed confidence suffusing throughout the squad transformed the mental landscape.
“We're probably not a lot different from last year,” says Paul O'Connell. “Maybe confidence is a lot different now and there's maybe a relaxed confidence about the team now. This time a year ago we'd worked hard in the autumn, but really had a poor autumn coming into the Six Nations and we really needed to produce something special and that's what we did. We've a lot of confidence and knowledge of what we're doing now under our belt.”