The anticipation is mounting for Munster's face off against Leinster in the all-Ireland rugby final at Thomond Park, Limerick on May 28.

"It's going to be very tough," O'Connell told chief sponsors Magners League. "Leinster are a good side and are playing really well. But we will be at home and have to protect that. It's going to be a huge day for Irish rugby."

The Munster and British and Irish Lions captain claims he is particularly pleased with the Munster scrum.

"We struggled against the Ospreys at times this year but our scrum did well and our line out was good," said O'Connell. “The set-piece was good.”

"We put a lot of work into the scrum and have had some really good sessions. We're really happy with that part of our game. We put in the hard work and it's paid dividends."

O'Connell was particularly pleased with two-try hero Danny Barnes and believes he will go on to great things in the Munster jersey.

"Danny is a very strong guy. He's very skillful and quick. But it's great to see his physicality. So many young players have the skills but he relishes the physical challenge and that's great for old guys like me to see.”

"He can play anywhere. I'm not an expert on backs play but he's incredibly confident, has great skills and can play anywhere."