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Early blow: Chest infection takes captain O'Connell out of Scotland clash

Dan Tuohy will start alongside Devin Toner in Ireland’s second row.

Image: INPHO

IRELAND CAPTAIN PAUL O’Connell has been forced into a late withdrawal from today’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.

The second row has a chest infection and will have to wait to make his first Six Nations appearance since Italy’s 2012 visit to Lansdowne Road.

O’Connell’s place in the starting line-up will be taken by Dan Tuohy with Iain Henderson called in to the replacements and the captaincy passed to Jamie Heaslip.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt spoke to RTE about the loss of O’Connell, who had not slept much last night due to the severity of his chest infection. He said, “It’s unfortunate when it happens late in the day, especially to a talismanic character like Paul.”

Schmidt hopes that a fast, furious and scoring start should be enough to bury the uncertainties that may have arisen after the loss of the Irish captain.

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Sean Farrell

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