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Sunday 4 December 2016

'The backs are going shopping' - Paul O'Connell reveals plans for World Cup rest day

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell during the welcome ceremony at Burton Town Hall, Burton-Upon-Trent
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell during the welcome ceremony at Burton Town Hall, Burton-Upon-Trent
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell wearing his Rugby World Cup 2015 cap during the welcome ceremony at Burton Town Hall, Burton-Upon-Trent

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell used a captive audience to poke fun at the backs within the Irish squad when he revealed what the players will be up to on their day off.

Joe Schmidt's side got their World Cup campaign off to a flying start at the weekend with a 50-7 victory over Canada, with the first-half performance in particular pleasing to all Irish supporters.

The squad are now gearing up for their next encounter when they take on Romania on Sunday and after complementing the team base at St George's Park, and O'Connell revealed what the players will be doing on their rest day on Thursday.

"Since we arrived at St George's Park, we have been incredibly well looked after," he said. "We have a day off on Thursday where a few lads are going to Alton Towers, some of the lads are going golfing at the Belfry, some boys are going shooting.

"The backs are going shopping in Birmingham."

With training facilities custom-built for the English FA, the IRFU chose wisely with the location, but the widespread memorabilia honouring past English greats is not to everyone's taste.

The Toulon-bound O'Connell posted a picture on his Instagram account of the interior decoration in his hotel room earlier this week.

With training facilities custom-built for the English FA, the IRFU chose wisely with the location, but the widespread memorabilia honouring past English greats is not to everyone's taste.

"Peter Shilton watching over me tonight. I'd rather Packie Bonner. @ St George's Park National," he wrote.

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