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O'Connell silences Grand Slam talk

PAUL O'CONNELL believes that it's far too early to be thinking about Grand Slams ahead of Sunday's crunch game with England in Dublin.

"It's unhealthy to start talking about Grand Slams," said O'Connell (left), currently recuperating from back surgery which has ruled him out of the entire championship.

"We've a really good side at the moment. Something in the autumn has clicked. The players seem to be focusing on Ireland and themselves a lot, making sure they know their own roles inside out.

"When we do that, and match it with efficiency, doing our jobs really well, with good high tempo passionate rugby, we're a really good side. But it takes a bit of monitoring to it week by week.

"They need to go week by week, the way we won it before.

"If they make every week a final, they've a great chance."

And O'Connell believes the chief architect, coach Declan Kidney, deserves the chance to maintain the current development of this Irish side.

"We're going very well, the boys are playing very well," he said.

"All the feedback from camp last November and these two weeks is how even tighter the coaching staff are in terms of working with each other."