Donncha O'Callaghan hails Ireland 'lunatic' Paul O'Connell

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The Independent Online

Ireland lock Donncha O'Callaghan has revealed Paul O'Connell once learnt Afrikaans in an attempt to gain an advantage at the line-out against South Africa.

The Irish line-out has struggled so far in the RBS 6 Nations and O'Connell has admitted his calls have been far from perfect.



But the Lions captain has received a vote of confidence from Munster team-mate O'Callaghan, who will be packing down alongside him in tomorrow's RBS 6 nations clash with Wales.



"I wouldn't even question any of Paul's calls," said O'Callaghan.



"I'd say if you went up to the video analysis room now, he'd be looking at Wales' line-outs from 1922 or something like that.



"We're lucky we have a lunatic like O'Connell who is willing to learn Afrikaans to pick off a few calls.



"I called up to his room one time and he had YouTube on and some woman counting to 10 in Afrikaans. I was like. 'what's going on here?'



"He was getting his ear in and to be fair he did pick off an awful lot of their calls. They started calling in a huddle.



"I remember himself and Victor Matfield chatting about it afterwards.



"They probably gave us too much credit the year after when they wiped the floor with us in the lineout.



"The lineout is turning into an art form. It's coming down to a thing you really need to study.



"We're lucky with the lineout leaders we have. You need a few chiefs and Indians.



"I'm an Indian when it comes to O'Connell. He gives me my role and I perform it or else I get my head knocked off."



Ireland's indiscipline has been a major problem throughout the Six Nations and O'Callaghan insists teams in general would benefit from greater on-field communication with referees.



"I watched a rugby league match the other night and the referees know the players by first name," he said.



"The referee was saying stuff like, 'leave that ball Kevin Sinfield'.



"If we had that, you're in no doubt whereas some of the referees are no-warning refs.



"I'm 18 stone and I can't get away on the ground in under two seconds. You need to give fellas time."



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