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In Pics: Captain’s Run

In Pics: Captain’s Run

Click here for photos of the Ireland squad’s Captain’s Run session at Lansdowne Road on Friday.

Pictured above: Munster lock Paul O’Connell runs out at Lansdowne Road. The 26-year-old has been passed fit to play in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland after recovering from a A/C joint separation in his left shoulder.

Paul O’Connell (centre) runs through some drills with the rest of the Irsh squad. Ahead of his 33rd Test cap, O’Connell was philosophical on the subject of his injury: “Injuries happen – they’re part and parcel of the game, particularly in the front five. You can’t let them get you down. People are always asking does it annoy you and it does, but you just have to turn things into a positive.

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“When I had my hand injury, I was able to do a lot of sprinting and power work. I’ve been able to jog a lot. You try to make it work for you, to help you become a better player. I definitely feel fresh and mad for games.”

Leinster and Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll (right) at the final 6 Nations training session to be held at the old Lansdowne Road. As well as a big performance from his own team, the star centre is hoping that supporters can create a cauldron of noise for the last championship game to be played at the old Dublin 4 stadium. He said: “It’s up to us to create the atmosphere. We need to start well and give the crowd something to cheer. Getting the crowd behind us will feature in my team talk because sometimes they can be worth a couple of scores. We’ll try and start well and get the crowd geed up.

“We’ve been starting a little bit slower than we wanted to (in recent games). In these close encounters, it’s about getting hold of the ball and keeping it. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll go from the ‘B’ of the bang and not the ‘G’, and the fans will weigh in behind us after seeing some good play.”

Speaking at Friday’s pree-match press conference, O’Driscoll added: “It’s the last 6 Nations game at the old stadium and we’d loved to go out on a win. If that happens, I’m sure we’ll feel very nostalgic about the ground.

“There will probably be a good run on programmes tomorrow because I’m sure it will a collector’s item. But it’s not something we think too much about. It’s there and it’s going to happen, but if that’s our ‘modus operandi’ for winning tomorrow, then we’re in trouble.”

“Look Niallo, no nerves at all!” – Coaches Eddie O’Sullivan and Niall O’Donovan hold a discussion at the Captain’s Run.

Paul O’Connell, who showed no ill-affects of the left shoulder injury that ruled him out of the recent win over Wales. O’Connell is also looking for the Lansdowne crowd to be more “vocal” having sat in the West Stand for the clash with the Welsh. The Limerick giant said: “I was a bit disappointed with the crowd at Lansdowne (against Wales). I thought it was a bit flat. I was sitting in the stand and I thought it was a bit quiet, especially now that we’re coming towards the end of the old ground.

“(Against Scotland) it’s going to take a massive performance from us. Hopefully, the crowd will be as vocal as they were last year against England and really get behind us. You’d like them to be a bit noisier – a little bit more intimidating. I know we have to give them something to shout about, so I suppose it’s a case of which comes first.”

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**All photos by Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**