Friday 9 December 2016

Vincent Hogan: Vintage class still has legs

Published 08/10/2012 | 17:00

The prejudice of time begins to press down on some of Munster's most decorated officers, yet heads keep turning for a restorative glimpse of one of their most battle-scarred.

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Paul O'Connell's name is invoked by media, almost on reflex now, as Rob Penney tries to work the positives from a project that lacks accuracy, but little else. The paradox can't be lost on the New Zealander. Just as Donncha O'Callaghan and Ronan O'Gara come under what has the distinct feel of ageist scrutiny, the tribunals pine for O'Connell's venerable influence.

Penney politely batted away questioning about the fitness of the 2009 Lions captain on Saturday night, articulating patience on the matter that may require repeat readings over the coming weeks.

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