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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019
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Does this picture confirm Paul O'Connell as Ireland captain?

Rob Kearney reckons it’s a big hint.

ROB KEARNEY DOWNPLAYED the looming captaincy decision facing Joe Schmidt ahead of the upcoming Guinness Series of November Tests.

However, the fullback did admit that the squad were drawn into the excitement of the debate for Tuesday’s squad photo at the Aviva Stadium.

imageO’Connell taking the congratulations of his lieutenants? Decide for yourself. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“We had a little joke about it when we had our team photo,” Kearney said at yesterday’s launch of the Guinness Plus App.

“Everyone’s trying to guess who’s sitting closest to the president – that often gives something away.”

Judging by the image above (the official photo has not been released yet) the second row was asked to sit front and centre alongside Pat Fitzgerald.

And though Kearney was keen to add that the issue of official leaders had not been discussed with the squad, he looks pretty eager to congratulate O’Connell here.

As for the fullback’s chances? “I was sitting, but far away from the president.”

Download the Guinness Plus App for Android here. Or from iTunes here.

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Sean Farrell

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