Lions captain Paul O’Connell had a few choice words for a young Owen Farrell in 2013 - Ruck

Lions captain Paul O’Connell had a few choice words for a young Owen Farrell in 2013

Paul O’Connell has long been known for his inspirational words. Having toured with the British & Irish Lions in 2005, 2009 & 2013 – the Ireland legend was always one of the main voices on and off the pitch.

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During the 2013 tour, O’Connell spoke of his amazement at the level of drive and dedication in the young Owen Farrell, even stating that he was setting an example for the most senior members of the squad.

“I think it’s funny that one of the youngest guys on the team, O Farrell, is the one that’s driving everyone on though.”

“Ya know, we all need to add that extra little bit to our game lads and become a team and push each other around the corner all the time. Push each other to get off the ground. Every little thing we do.”

“The guy is 22 years of age, barking at everyone, driving everyone around the pitch. We should all be f*cking doing it.”

Reacting to the clip, one fan said: “Ahh look at how many of the boys looked right at Paul when he said “I’ll play for you all day.” What a leader, what a moment.”

“Every time I hear ‘I’ll play for you all day’ the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. What a leader,” commented another.

A third added: “When he talks everyone listens…Everyone looks up to him and respects him and behind it all he’s a gent..Love the way Mako is just looking at him”

Supercomputer predicts British & Irish Lions 36-man squad for 2025 tour

The Lions will play a New Zealand and Australia invitational XV as part of their nine-match tour down under in 2025. 

The historic fixture in Adelaide will precede Test matches with the Wallabies in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. 

A sell-out at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground would smash records for a Lions Test match. 

The series finale will be played in front of more than 80,000 fans in Sydney’s Olympic Park.

The 2025 Lions tour fixtures in full

  • Saturday 28 June: v Western Force, Optus Stadium, Perth
  • Wednesday 2 July: v Queensland Reds, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
  • Saturday 5 July: v New South Wales Waratahs, Allianz Stadium, Sydney
  • Wednesday 9 July: v ACT Brumbies, GIO Stadium, Canberra
  • Saturday 12 July: v Invitational Australia & NZ XV, Adelaide Oval
  • Saturday 19 July: First Test, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
  • Tuesday 22 July: v Melbourne Rebels, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
  • Saturday 26 July: Second Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • Saturday 2 August: Third Test, Accor Stadium, Sydney

The bolded players in our proposed Lions squad represent the starting XV, according to current odds.




  • Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)
  • James Lowe (Ireland)
  • Hugo Keenan (Ireland)
  • Tommy Freeman (England)
  • Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (England)
  • Mack Hansen (Ireland)


  • Bundee Aki (Ireland)
  • Ollie Lawrence (England)
  • Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland)
  • Henry Slade (England)
Bundee Aki of Ireland on the break during the Guinness Six Nations Match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 23. – PHOTO: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK