Thursday 29 September 2016

Anthony Foley: Paul O'Connell's probably having a good laugh at the Toulon rumours

Published 21/04/2015 | 16:10

Paul O'Connell, Munster
Paul O'Connell, Munster

Toulon and Munster have both dismissed speculation linking the French club with a summer move for Ireland captain Paul O'Connell.

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A report in The Irish Times this morning suggested that the Limerick man was being eyed up by Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal as a possible replacement for Ali Williams and Bakkies Botha who are leaving the club at the end of the season.

There has been growing speculation in recent months that a number of Top 14 sides have been preparing offers to try and tempt the 35-year-old Ireland captain with a move to the Top 14.

However the club decided to issue a statement on their website to refute claims that the Munster lock would be joining the reigning European champions.

"Toulon, accustomed to all sorts of rumours about future potential recruits, deny the signing of Irish international second row Paul O'Connell," it read.

"Toulon cautions that Paul O'Connell has not signed a contract with Toulon Rugby Club and the alleged contacts between the player and the Red and Black are pure speculation."

O'Connell has said in recent times that he may end his international career after the World Cup in the autumn and the likelihood of a move to France would seem remote.

Munster head coach Anthony Foley also dismissed the French links, adding that O'Connell himself will be amused with the speculation.

“There’s some carry on going in the background,” Anthony Foley told Cork’s RedFM today.

“It’s all in the media, when you talk to Paul there’s nothing. Even when the Pau stuff came out he had a good laugh around that. He's probably having a good laugh at the Toulon stuff."

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