After an impressive victory over Canada in their last encounter, Ireland are gearing up to face Romania at Wembley in London in a Group D encounter of Rugby World Cup on Sunday.
The two teams are coming face-to-face in World Cup after 12 years. Ireland, who emerged victorious then, are favourites at Wembley as well. France, Canada and Italy constitute the other three teams in the group.
Romania, who were outplayed in their first game by France, will be eager to defeat Ireland and take their first points of the competition, but are aware of the uphill task. Despite the loss against France, Romania won hearts with their spirited performance against the strong looking French side as the players from Romania showed a lot of character.
The same spirit is expected to be on show against Ireland on Sunday. Ireland assistant coach, Les Kiss, is aware of the threat the Romanians pose as they are a tenacious unit.
"Our intention is to play with ball in hand but if we don't look after ball in the breakdown they can hurt you," 2015 Rugby World Cup official website quoted Kiss as saying.
"They are very robust, very tenacious. We must make sure we don't put the horse before the cart."
Joe Schmidt, who is a successful coach, has decided to keep captain O'Connell on the bench and make the best use of his experience in the latter stages of the game against Romania.
"We might be trying to manage the endgame and to have a little bit of experience and power and intellect coming off the bench. He brings all those three things. It could be a real bonus for us," said Schmidt.
Apart from this, Schmidt has also made a number of changes to the squad that played against Canada. Richardt Strauss and Donnacha Ryan have also found place in the Irish team. However, it will be interesting to see if the team's overall performance improves on Sunday with these players.
Romania, who were rather disappointing at the set pieces, need to come up with a better performance at such positions as it could help them against Ireland.
"It's certainly one of the areas that we've identified as we have to improve after the game against France. We didn't function in the lineouts. It's not possible to lose as many lineouts as we have," said Romania coach Lynn Howells.
Ireland: Simon Zebo, Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne, Darren Cave, Keith Earls, Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Nathan White, Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip.
Romania: Cătălin Fercu, Adrian Apostol, Paula Kinikinilau, Csaba Gál, Ionut Botezatu, Michael Wiringi, Valentin Calafeteanu, Andrei Ursache, Andrei Radoi, Ion Paulică, Valentin Popîrlan, Ovidiu Tonița, Valentin Ursache, Mihai Macovei (c), Daniel Carpo.
Where to watch live
Ireland vs Romania is scheduled for a 4:45pm BST (9:15pm IST, 11:45 am ET) start. Viewers in India can watch the game on Sony Six.
Viewers in the UK and Ireland can watch the match live on ITV1, with the live stream option on ITV Player.
South African viewers can watch the Ireland vs Romania match on SuperSport, while the live stream option is on SuperSport Live Video.
Ruby lovers in the USA can watch the Ireland vs Romania match live on Universal Sports, while the big game can also be live streamed on Universal Sports Online.