Saturday 10 December 2016

Is Paul O'Connell about to join the Galacticos at Toulon?

Published 21/04/2015 | 08:17

Paul O'Connell in action against Toulon in last year's Heineken Cup semi-final
Paul O'Connell in action against Toulon in last year's Heineken Cup semi-final

Munster and Ireland lock Paul O'Connell has emerged a leading target of French giants Toulon, according to reports.

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The Irish Times is reporting that the Limerick man is 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 a lot of 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.

Bernard Jackman's Grenoble and Pau have been mentioned repeatedly but neither would have the financial clout to compete with Toulon, who will look to complete a third European victory in a row when they meet Clermont in the final of the Champions Cup final next month.

Touon have a history of bringing in experienced internationals and O'Connell's age profile would not be an issue.

O'Connell still has a year to run on his current Munster contract and it's highly unlikely that the province would facilitate the move, especially considering the likely backlash.

He 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.

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