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In the absence of regular captain Brian O’Driscoll, who will miss the forthcoming Six Nations whilst recovering from shoulder surgery, it has been confirmed that experienced lock Paul O’Connell will lead the Irish.

Munster Rugby captain O’Connell has led his nation in the past, against France in 2004 and in an reshuffled side against England in the build up to last year’s World Cup.

As well as the experience that comes with captaining his nation and one of the giants of European club Rugby, O Connell also showed excellent leadership skills when he skippered the British and Irish Lions on their 2009 tour of South Africa.

The next stage of his international and captaining careers will begin on February 5th when Ireland take on Wales in their Six Nations opener at the Aviva Stadium. The latest Betfair Six Nations Betting odds suggest that he’ll get off to a winning start.