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Lions 2013: Paul O'Connell to captain side against Barbarians

O'Connell during Lions Training

May 30, 2013

Due to flanker Sam Warburtons knee injury, Ireland Lock Paul O'Connel is set to take over as skipper for the upcoming Lions Tour to Australia.

"The medics have asked him to stay off it for five days," explained head coach Warren Gatland.

"We felt it was not worth the risk. The last thing we wanted was for him to get through the first three or four weeks and then be struggling when the Tests come around. It is just precautionary."

O'Connel has done a great job supporting Warburton and is the best person for the job in terms of his leadership and the respect he has within the squad. Gatland said asking O'Connell to lead the side was a "very easy decision".

"Paul has been great over the last few weeks, and it was probably a blessing that Munster got knocked out [in the semi-finals] of the Heineken Cup.

"He has done a great job supporting Sam and is the best person for the job in terms of his leadership and the respect he has within the squad."

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