Former teammate reveals how Paul O'Connell used Sesame Street to help Ireland beat South Africa 4 years ago

Former teammate reveals how Paul O'Connell used Sesame Street to help Ireland beat South Africa

We knew the story but we never knew it was this good.

Before Ireland faced South Africa in the November international at Croke Park in 2009, Paul O'Connell was taking preparation to the next level.

After our 15-10 win in the fog, it was reported that the Limerick man had spent time trying to learn the visitors native Afrikaans at the line-out.

It's a ploy that plenty of other countries have used in the years since, and initially it was reported that it was a phrasebook that O'Connell used to get up to speed on the numbers used by the then current World Champions in the set-piece.

Donncha O'Callaghan partnered O'Connell at that time in the Irish team, and his former Munster teammate last night added another layer to an already legendary story by adding some Seasame Street magic to the mix.

South Africa legend Victor Matfield revealed on Rugby Tonight that his toughest opponent was O'Connell, and how the Irish backrow legend stole a number of line outs in that game which bemused the visitors.

His frustration prompted O'Callaghan to recall the infamous tale once more and explain how it was not a phrasebook, but actually the Count from Seasame Street who gave Ireland a crucial advantage.

"Paul O'Connell actually spent the week, you know the Count in Seasame Street. He 'goes 'One! Ah ah. Two! Ah ah.' But in Afrikaans so he could get his ear in and learn your line out calls a bit. That's the kind of details some guys would go to."