Sport Rugby

Saturday 3 December 2016

Paul O'Connell: 'Moving to France will be tough on the kids'

Published 25/11/2015 | 10:36

Ireland's Paul O'Connell and his son Paddy, 5 years
Ireland's Paul O'Connell and his son Paddy, 5 years
Paul O'Connell

Ireland legend Paul O'Connell will not let the Paris terror attacks put him off moving to Toulon and France.

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O'Connell is recovering from surgery after he badly tore his hamstring during Ireland's win over France in the rugby World Cup and he will hook up with his new Toulon team-mates when his body allows it.

"Has the tragedy changed my desire to go and live there? Certainly not," said O'Connell in an interview with the Irish Daily Star.

"As soon as I got word of what was happening, I texted Ronan O'Gara and other friends of mine in Paris to check that they were ok.

"I've played a lot of rugby in France and I got married there, so I do have a strong connection with the country."

O'Connell reiterated his eagerness to get to France on Ireland AM this morning.

“You know, we’re all looking forward to it. I don’t think, it’s going to be, I think it’ll be tough on the kids, everyone says that they adapt really well and that but, I still feel sorry for them the first day they go into school and they haven’t a clue what anyone is saying to them or anything.”

Reflecting on the rugby World Cup, O'Connell claims that Ireland can learn from their mistakes going forward.

“That France game was always going to be a big game for us and we did the job and we really needed to get on and be better again but unfortunately a week later, we were probably worse rather than better. It’s just a shame, it’s an opportunity lost but hopefully we’ll learn from it and hopefully next World Cup, Ireland can go on to the semi-final or final and achieve something special.”

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