Saturday 1 October 2016

'I never thought I'd be that guy' – Paul O'Connell on hot yoga and being booed for his musical tastes by team-mates

Published 06/05/2015 | 10:18

Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell admits his team-mates are not impressed with his taste in 80s music and says that yoga is helping extend his playing career.
Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell admits his team-mates are not impressed with his taste in 80s music and says that yoga is helping extend his playing career.

Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell admits his team-mates are not impressed with his taste in 80s music and says that yoga is helping extend his playing career.

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The legendary Munster lock took part in his first in-season bikram yoga session in Dublin to promote the new Adidas Climachill range and is no stranger to yoga, citing the ease of following 20-minuite YouTube videos in the comfort of his own home.

Ireland and Munster lock Paul O'Connell
Ireland and Munster lock Paul O'Connell

"If you want to be able to use your muscles properly, you do need to have some bit of flexibility," he told The Irish Daily Star. "The bikram yoga, I've never done it in-season, but I might try it a bit this summer.

Now in the twilight of his career, O'Connell says he understands the value of adequate stretching, often beginning his warm-up half an hour before his team-mates.

"That not only helps me train better, but it helps me prevent injuries."

The 2009 Lions captain says he feels like a golden oldie, not only for his stretching, but for his unpopular taste in music.

"Whenever I put music on I generally get booed out of it because I always put on 80s music," he said, citing Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Dire Straits as among his favourite artists.

The towering Limerick man says the abuse has come the full circle as he was once upon a time the player dishing out the abuse over the choice of music.

"I laugh because Used to slag [John] Hayes about the same thing. He would have been on a lot of the same stuff and even older. I never thought I'd be that guy, but now I am that guy being slagged."

Meanwhile Munster will attempt to persuade O'Connell to see out his contract until the end of next season, according to head coach Anthony Foley.

But the former No 8 conceded that the Ireland captain's decision on whether he'll continue beyond this year's World Cup was entirely his own, again dismissing the continuing speculation linking the legendary second-row with Toulon.

"That will be in private and go on behind closed doors," he said when asked if he'd talk to O'Connell about playing on. "It's not a public conversation. It's not for me to sit down here and plead a case. It'll happen in an office and nobody will know about it.

"It's not an easy decision for anyone to make, to step away from a game that you love to play, but sometimes your body tells you that you need to look after yourself. It's important that he makes the right decision when the time comes.

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