Video: Donnacha Ryan jokes about Paul O’Connell’s next career move
Donncha Ryan soldiered with Paul O’Connell in the red of Munster and green of Ireland and has his own views on what the former Lions captain will do next.
A hamstring injury suffered against France last year has ultimately cut short his glittering career, before he ever had the opportunity to don a Toulon jersey following his high-profile move from his native province.
Speaking at Carton House today as Ireland prepare for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with France, Ryan admitted it was a “sad” day, but paid tribute to the professionalism and ability of the talismanic leader.
“He was an inspirational leader and fantastic to play with him,” he told Independent.ie.
“Suiting up alongside him in the dressing room, it does raise your game. For me, he is the best second row in the world and his level of intelligence is incredible.
“How he approaches the game, the science he brings to line out play, it was humbling to be a student of his.
Ryan admitted the presence of the giant lock had a huge influence in his decision to remain at Munster and has sympathy for the way his Top 14 dream failed to materialise.
“It was such an incentive for me to stay in Munster, sacrifice game time, to have the ability to train underneath him and learn to ply my trade properly.
“It's very sad to see that it didn't materialise for him down in Toulon, but when your body is your business that's the nature of the beast as well.”
O’Connell will be a BBC pundit for Saturday’s clash with France, but while the player himself has said he has a number of business interest that will occupy him in retirement, Ryan joked that he may have a job much closer to home.
“I think Young Munster U8s were looking for someone,” he joked.
Read more here:
- Paul O’Connell to make Six Nations return this weekend…as a BBC pundit
- 'I'll have to start working very hard on this' - Paul O'Connell to release autobiography in 2016
- Brian O'Driscoll: He has a real humility that's not faked... Paul O'Connell was tremendous
- Paul O'Connell's 12 greatest moments as a rugby player