Thursday 29 September 2016

Anthony Foley aiming to convince 'unbelievable' O'Connell to remain at Munster

Rugby

Published 06/05/2015 | 02:30

Munster will attempt to persuade Paul O’Connell to see out his contract until the end of next season, according to head coach Anthony Foley (Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE)
Munster will attempt to persuade Paul O’Connell to see out his contract until the end of next season, according to head coach Anthony Foley (Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE)

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

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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.

"There's been a lot of nonsense written, people poking the fire and trying to stir things up. At the moment we're fully focused on this weekend.

"I always get confused as to why we're talking about a fella that's under contract. He had an unbelievable Six Nations, I don't know why we'd want to put him down yet."

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray said he understood why O'Connell would want to go out after the World Cup.

"I think he could continue for at least another year and go on but he knows his body," he said. "The important thing is going out on a high, he's the type of player that wouldn't like to plateau and hang on in there, he wants to contribute as much as he can."

Irish Independent

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