Thursday 25 May 2017

Ireland hero Paul O'Connell proudly leads young son Paddy onto the pitch following his last match at the Aviva

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell and his son Paddy after the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell and his son Paddy after the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell and his son Paddy after the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell arrives for the captains run at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 28, 2015. See PA Story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell wins a lineout against Wales' captain Alun Wyn Jones during the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell arrives for the captains run at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 28, 2015. See PA Story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell stands for the national anthems in his last home international during the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Barry Lennon

PAUL O'CONNELL led his son Paddy on to the pitch after his last Ireland game on home soil which ended in defeat to Wales.

When asked about his career he remained humble - choosing to focus on what lies ahead for the team instead of dwelling on his final match on Irish soil.

"I'm obviously disappointed with the result at the moment," said O'Connell on Sky Sports 

"We're preparing for the world cup. It's probably not the time to be looking at it right now. We've to prepare for that.

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell and his son Paddy after the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell and his son Paddy after the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
An Ireland fan wears a mask of captain Paul O'Connell during the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell leads the team out for his last home international before the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

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"The fans have been incredible for us and throughout my career. I've had an amazing time. Hopefully they can add to it at the World Cup. There will be a lot of Irish people at the Irish games.

"Hopefully we can give them a better performance than that," he said.

The Wales World Cup Warm-up game was not to be part of Paul O'Connell's 35 home wins in the green jersey - out of 49 matches in Ireland.  

The Munster and Ireland legend has had a proud record on the pitch claiming three Six Nations titles since making his debut against Wales in 2001, in which he started with Mick Galwey and scored his first try.

The modest man did not wish to dwell on his international career as he said that World Cup selection was weighing heavily on the players until they hear the good or bad news from Joe Schmidt tomorrow.

However, it could also be that he finds the occasion 'embarrassing' as he said of ahead of his final farewell in the Aviva Stadium.

"I mean, they're nice, I really enjoyed my last game in Thomond Park against the Ospreys - I had it to myself almost." he said.

O'Connell is of course Ireland's fourth most capped player behind former Munster player's Ronan O'Gara, John Hayes and Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll.

More to follow

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