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O'Connell wary of physical England

Paul O'Connell fears England will be fired up by their Grand Slam failure when they meet Ireland at Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

England visit Dublin intent on avenging the 24-8 hiding in March that ended their ambition of completing a clean sweep in the RBS 6 Nations.

"The best way to get ready for the World Cup is to play matches of as high an intensity as possible," said O'Connell. "It's a home game against England. We know they're up for it after what happened in March. We can't go into it half-hearted."

He added: "It will be high intensity and good for us. Whatever happens, happens, but this is the way we want to prepare for the World Cup - as hard and fast as we can.

"After we beat England in March there was plenty of talk about this game almost straight away.

"It will be very tough, England are always very physical. They have a very strong side with a very good line-out. They have a big strong pack that will be physical.

"We got on top in the midfield in the last game but Alesana Tuilagi is a serious player in the centre.

"Mike Tindall is very physical and experienced. England are strong all over the pitch.

"Jonny Wilkinson combines a good running game with a good kicking game. Obviously he punishes any indiscipline and is very good at taking drop goals.

"He's good at keeping the scoreboard turning over as well."


From Belfast Telegraph