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Barbarians 19:45 Ireland

Ireland well prepared for Argentina Tests, says Paul O'Connell

Last Updated: 02/06/14 10:17pm

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Paul O'Connell: Excited by chance to tour Argentina

Paul O'Connell: Excited by chance to tour Argentina

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Paul O'Connell does not expect John Plumtree's decision to leave his role with Ireland to have any effect on their tour of Argentina.

The Irish squad touched down in Buenos Aires on Monday with the news their forwards coach is returning to New Zealand for personal reasons still sinking in.

But captain O'Connell is confident their preparation for two Tests against the Pumas is already complete and they will look to end Plumtree's time with the team on a high.

O'Connell said: "He's very professional and he's very well prepared for this tour as we all are, so I don't think it's going to affect the tour in any way.

"It was great to get a guy with such experience to get the job and such great personality as well.

"He's a fairly laid-back guy and very experienced - he was great. It helped me to be able to share ideas and discuss ideas with him so the disruption is just trying to find someone of similar calibre to replace him with, with the World Cup looming.

"A lot of the players that play in the Rugby Championship for them won't be involved, but we're playing an Argentinian team that has played I think, eight or nine games together since March and they're unbeaten.

"They won the CONSUR Cup, the Pacific Rugby Cup and they just beat a South American 15 last week, they've spent a lot of time together, played together a lot so it's going to be very tough for us."

This is O'Connell's first trip to Argentina, and he admits it is nice to be travelling to places he hasn't visited before as he comes towards the end of his international career.

"Some of the summer tours you go on now, for me, at 34, you are playing in grounds you have played in before, you are going to cities in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa you've been to before. You are staying in hotels even you have probably stayed in two or three times before," he added.

"So to touch down in Buenos Aires this morning, we drove in on a double decker bus, it's very different to any city we've been to.

"We'll travel to Chaco and Tucuman this week and next week, so they are all very different places to anywhere we've been before. For me, it's one of the main reasons I wanted to come on the tour. It's exciting."

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