Six Nations 2014: Paul O'Connell out of Irish team for Scotland game

Paul O'Connell

RBS SIX NATIONS: IRELAND v SCOTLAND

Venue:
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Date:
Sunday, 2 February
Kick-off:
15:00 GMT
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, BBC One HD, online, mobiles and the BBC Sport app; Also live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio Ulster

Captain Paul O'Connell is a late withdrawal from the Ireland team for Sunday's Six Nations opener against Scotland in Dublin.

The lock has a chest infection and has been replaced by Ulster's Dan Tuohy who will be making his Six Nations debut.

O'Connell's absence is a major blow for Ireland coach Joe Schmidt as he faces into his first Six Nations match since taking the Irish job.

Jamie Heaslip will take the Irish captaincy for Sunday's match.

Tuohy's inclusion sees another Ulster player Iain Henderson drafted into the replacements.

Hugely influential flanker Sean O'Brien has already been ruled out of the entire Championship and O'Connell's absence will further weaken the Ireland pack.

Speaking before the match, Schmidt acknowledged that O'Connell's absence was a blow for his squad.

"It probably hurts confidence but we've got to roll up our sleeves now and get on with the game," added Schmidt.

Brian O'Driscoll will surpass Ronan O'Gara as Ireland's most-capped player with 129 appearances by lining out in Sunday's match.