The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Earlier this summer Schmidt was handed a three-year contract with Ireland after taking over from Declan Kidney, with his first games in charge set to be the autumn internationals against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.
O’Connell made his international debut in 2002 and played under Eddie O’Sullivan as well as Kidney for the national side, and insisted the players were enjoying working under the new regime.
"Any time you work with someone new and as successful a coach as Joe Schmidt, it is always a good thing," said the 33-year-old, who has captained both Ireland and the British & Irish Lions in the past.
"We've only had a small number of sessions with him but they have been really enjoyable and stimulating.
"Joe has a tried and trusted way of running his coaching staff and running the teams he coaches, and you look at the success he has had with Leinster over the last number of years and it is hard not to trust that."
Schmidt, who previously coached in France with Clermont Auvergne and before that the Auckland Blues, believes having competition for places across the park is vital for Ireland to succeed in the future.
After a 30-22 victory over Wales in their opening RBS 6 Nations game of 2013, Ireland failed to win any of their remaining fixtures although they did hold France to a 13-13 draw.
"We found out last season that you are only a few injuries away from being made a little bit vulnerable, so we have got to try to build that depth,” said the Kiwi.
"If we can build that, it will give us a little bit more stability going forward, and we can be a little bit more regular with our team performance.
"Hopefully, we can gain the consistency that enables us to be really competitive, no matter who we have available to us.”