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VIDEO: 'We would do podcasts as well if we won the World Cup'

VIDEO: Ireland forwards coach Paul O’Connell has no gripe with the whole social media hype created by Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus ahead of the first Test at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, saying ‘he seems to be good at it’.

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In the build-up to this weekend, Erasmus again took to X as he often does with tongue in cheek, obviously relishing playing those mind games every so often.

In one of his latest posts, he predicted what a potential Ireland team could be like, and added their caps with the caption: ‘This is class!! Going to be epic SA v Ire. Next week this time!!

The legendary former Ireland lock was asked about the Springbok coach’s antics on social media and if he found it unusual for a head coach.

“I think if we won the World Cup, we would probably be asked to go out and do a few podcasts as well,” O’Connell said with a big smile.

“It is what it is. I have come across bits and pieces of it.

“We haven’t spoken about it a lot.

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“We never tend to do [speak about it] around this kind of thing.

“It tends to become a reaction,” the coach said, but he was full of understanding for the Springbok coach, who at times has come under fire for some of his social media posts.

“I think if you are a head coach as long as Rassie has been, you have to figure out a way to enjoy doing all the media stuff, and he seems to enjoy it and he is good at it.

“We haven’t paid a lot of attention to it,” he added.

(Article continues below the O’Connell  interview …)

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Looking ahead at the Test and Loftus, O’Connell knows what is coming.

He captained the British & Irish Lions in one of the most intense games of all time at an incredibly hostile Loftus Versfeld 15 years ago.

The decisive second Test of the 2009 series is still regarded as one of the toughest matches the sport has seen.

The B&I Lions lost in heart-breaking fashion after Ronan O’Gara collided with Fourie du Preez and Morne SDteyn kicked a match-winning penalty – 28-25.

“You know what the place is going to be like.

“It’s a fantastic stadium with brilliant traditions.

“The fans love it, they love playing a part in the game.

“So you have to be aware of that.

“For us, it’s about focusing on ourselves as much as possible.

“When we do that, we tend to do alright.

“When teams become distracted by the noise outside it becomes exactly that, a distraction,” O’Connell concluded.

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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