Paul O'Connell thrilled to be part of the British and Irish Lions

Last Updated: 01/05/13 9:39am

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Paul O'Connell: Thrilled to be part of the Lions squad

Paul O'Connell: Thrilled to be part of the Lions squad

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Former British and Irish Lions captain Paul O'Connell claims he is "a little bit lucky" to be part of the 37-man squad to face Australia in the summer.

The 33-year-old lock has not played for Ireland since facing France on March 4, with a run of knee and back injuries having left him frustrated over the past 12 months.

However O'Connell gave the Lions selectors a timely reminder of his abilities with a talismanic display in Munster's Heineken Cup quarter-final win over Harlequins.

Such was O'Connell's impact, he was instantly linked with leading the Lions for a second successive tour.

And although he ultimately missed out on the captaincy to Sam Warburton, O'Connell is just happy to be part of the squad.


"I am delighted to be on the tour," he told Sky Sports.

"I am probably a little bit lucky to be on the tour considering I haven't played a lot of international rugby this season and just coming back from the injury, so I am absolutely thrilled to be going on the plane."

O'Connell led the Lions with distinction four years ago in South Africa, however he insists there are few words of wisdom that he can pass on to Warburton.

"He has done a very good job as it is.," he added. "He just needs to continue to be himself and doing it the way that has been so successful for Wales.

"There is no need to change. He has been picked for who he is and what he has been doing. That's the only bit of advice I have for him but I am sure he is well capable without my advice."

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