RELAXATION is the key message from Ireland forwards coach Paul O’Connell to his players ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield (3pm).
This will be the 140th test match between the countries, of which Ireland have won 68, lost 66, and drawn on five occasions.
Three bonus-point wins from as many outings have left Ireland in pole position to complete the clean sweep, with the Scotland challenge imminent and England up quickly at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday week, the heart of the St Patrick’s Bank Holiday weekend.
Ahead of this weekend, O’Connell told independent.ie: “I think it’s just important to keep them relaxed. There is no fear of guys slackening off – with our lads, your only fear is that they maybe do too much.”
“For a lot of these guys, the work is done. It’s about staying relaxed and trusting what they have done.”
Ireland players were given a rest at the weekend before returning to camp on Monday.
“One of the biggest things about being fresh is being able to switch off when the chance comes,” said O’Connell. “You’ve got to work hard, which our boys always do. But it’s important to take the time off so that you can be fresh towards the end of the tournament as well.”
“We just need to make sure that mentally we’re in a good place when we walk out on the field in the next game against Scotland. That’s the most important thing, and switching off is an important part of that.”