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Paul is expected back to boost Irish chances

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HOPES are high that Paul O’Connell will be back in action this Thursday as Ireland increase their training for Saturday’s RBS Six Nations clash with Wales in the Aviva Stadium.
Assistant coach John Plumtree had high praise for the 34-year-old Irish second-row adding that he has made rapid improvement from the chest infection that kept him out of the Scotland game on Sunday last. O’Connell remains a key player if Ireland are to get the better of the Welsh in this second game of the series.

“I’ve been around a long time, and Paul’s right up there in terms of the professional rugby players I’ve been involved with,” said Plumtree.

“I’ve coached in New Zealand and South Africa at the top level, and they can’t talk highly enough about that guy.”

High praise indeed for the Young Munster legend.

Cian Healy was also expected to shrug off an ankle knock in time to face Wales, scrummaging in training on Tuesday but not running.

Rob Kearney should also recover from his bruised calf.

Longer-term casualties Eoin Reddan, Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe and Donnacha Ryan will not return to Ireland training this week.

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