Paul O’Connell wary of threat posed by ‘subtle’ Welsh attacking prowess

Ireland's Paul O'Connell
Ireland's Paul O'Connell

Wales boast far more attacking subtlety than their bulldozing ‘Warrenball’ typecasting, according to Paul O’Connell.

The Ireland captain has warned his team-mates to beware Wales’ savvy dummy lines off the ball behind the scrum in Saturday’s RBS Six Nations showdown in Dublin.

The Munster totem will be embroiled in an all-out tussle with Wales’ own talismanic lock Alun-Wyn Jones for the majority of this intriguing round-two contest.

The Australian press coined the term Warrenball to account for Warren Gatland’s bruising, straight-running rugby on the summer’s British and Irish Lions tour.

O’Connell laughed it off as Aussie kidology back in June, and said Ireland must do likewise this weekend.

“I think it’s a bit of an unfair tag, obviously because they’re big men you just think their game’s all about physicality,” said O’Connell.

“But there’s an incredible amount of subtlety to what they do as well.

“Everyone just thinks they launch big men into midfield as the first phase for every play.

It is something they do, but they do it with a lot of subtlety, they have a lot of animation out the back, pulling defenders away.”

Wales laboured to an opening-weekend 23-15 victory over Italy in Cardiff, while Ireland saw off Scotland 28-6 in Dublin.