Sunday 23 October 2016

Paul O'Connell gets seal of approval as he is set to announce Toulon deal

David Wallace

Published 29/05/2015 | 02:30

If Paul O'Connell moves to France next year, everyone should wish him the best of luck
If Paul O'Connell moves to France next year, everyone should wish him the best of luck

David Wallace has said that Paul O'Connell has earned the right to end his rugby career with a bumper move to Toulon.

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O'Connell is expected to announce a two-year deal with the European Cup champions next week after confirming he had played his last game in Thomond Park last weekend.

In his column in today's Irish Independent, Wallace said: "If Paul O'Connell doesn't retire and leaves Munster next season to go to France, I think everyone would wish him the best because he certainly deserves it.

"You couldn't fault him for going down there and experiencing a different rugby culture and lifestyle and it'd be a great opportunity for anyone. He's given so much to Munster and Ireland and at this stage Irish rugby owes him so much.

"As a likely future coach, he'd learn so much playing with different players and coaches.

"It's something any player would love to do for a year or two at the end of their career, and having been in Munster all his life, it would be a valuable experience for Paulie.

"It's something I would love to have done, going out for a year or two and just experiencing something different because rugby gives you that opportunity to broaden your horizons.

"Obviously Paul leaving would be a massive loss to Munster but it's only a matter of time until he retires and it will be up to the younger guys to step up to the mark.

"They are definitely leaders in the Munster team and it will give them a chance to thrive."

Last week after Munster's win over Ospreys in the Pro12, O'Connell said: "Yes, it's probably the last time I played for Munster here."

Irish Independent

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