Warren Gatland impressed by Paul O'Connell's super Stoop display

Last Updated: 12/04/13 10:36pm

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Paul O'Connell on the charge at the Stoop

Paul O'Connell on the charge at the Stoop

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Lions coach Warren Gatland says he was hugely impressed with Paul O'Connell's "dominant" performance in Munster's victory over Harlequins last weekend.

The Ireland lock, who captained the Lions in South Africa in 2009, has missed much of the season because of injury.

He made his comeback a few weeks ago for Munster, and in last weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-final at Harlequins he looked back to his fiery best.

O'Connell - I'm so proud

His fitness problems had looked likely to rule him out of this summer's Lions tour to Australia, but Gatland admits he was hugely impressed by O'Connell's sensational Stoop showing.

"Definitely he was one that caught the eye. It will be interesting to see how he goes over the next couple of weeks," he told msn.

"It was a very dominant performance from a very experienced player. You would expect him to come out and stamp his authority on the game - he did that and definitely took the eye of a number of people including ourselves particularly at line-out time, around the field and his leadership qualities.

"I've a huge amount of time for Paul and all he has achieved.

"His successes have been with Munster and Ireland but probably if he looks back on his career he'd love to go on another Lions tour and get win a series in the Southern Hemisphere.

"It's something not a lot of players have achieved."

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