Sunday 28 May 2017

'It's all about rugby and family' as skipper commits to Munster

John Fallon

It has been an eventful week or so for Paul O'Connell -- unveiled as Irish captain for the Six Nations and the announcement of a new two-year contract yesterday. As usual, the Limerick man is taking it all in his stride.

O'Connell said he was delighted to be staying with Munster until the summer of 2014 at least, and the 32-year old did not rule out another contract down the line.

"To be honest I wasn't too worried about it. We got it done and dusted fairly quickly. I didn't want to leave so I was happy to get it sorted," said O'Connell.

"I don't know if this will be my last contract. My body is in great nick -- we are very well looked after by our fitness staff.

"We're being well managed as well, I got two weeks off after the World Cup so feel great."

O'Connell said the idea of moving abroad did not arise, and as skipper of his home province and with a family -- including young son Paddy -- rooted in the local community, it was an easy decision for him to stay put.

"You have to express an interest to leave for that to happen. For me I was happy so we got it done quickly," he said.

"At the moment it's all around Paddy. I used to play golf but you can't train and then come home and tell the mother that I'm off playing golf for three hours. He's 20 months so it is a great time to be around with him.

"I enjoy being around the lads too. A lot of the guys I play with are my closest friends so at the moment it's all about rugby and family."

O'Connell said he is enjoying his rugby but is always striving for improvement.

"I've been in better condition, I'm getting there and it's close to where I want to be.

"Form-wise there is a lot more in me and a lot more in a lot of fellas playing with Munster," he said.

Munster coach Tony McGahan added: "It is absolutely fantastic for Munster to have our captain commit for a further two years."

"Paul leads by actions and words. He speaks common sense and his actions show what he's talking about."

Irish Independent

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