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Heaslip relishing clash with O’Connell

Heaslip relishing clash with O’Connell

British & Irish Lions team-mates Jamie Heaslip and Paul O’Connell will become enemies next season when their club side’s clash in Europe.

British & Irish Lions team-mates Jamie Heaslip and Paul O’Connell will become enemies next season when their club side’s clash in Europe.

The pair lined up alongside one another when the Lions beat Australia in the first Test of the triumphant 2013 series and were also part of the squad that toured South Africa in 2009.

But this week’s draw for the pool stage of the Champions Cup sees Heaslip’s Leinster and O’Connell’s new club Toulon thrown together, along with Bath and Christian Wade’s Wasps.

And, though there is the small matter of a World Cup to come before the competition begins, Heaslip admits he is already looking forward to locking horns with O’Connell.

“Like most of the lads I was glued to the laptop,” Heaslip told the Irish Independent.

“As much as you look forward to the off-season, it isn’t long before you start looking towards critical dates and from a Leinster point of view that first date was the draw for the Champions Cup.

"There will be the hype around Paulie and his return to these shores to take on an Irish team but leaving Paul aside, Toulon are a formidable outfit and have recruited really well once again.”

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