Wednesday 26 July 2017

Was Stuart Barnes right to include Paul O'Connell's injury in his Rugby World Cup top moments?

11 October 2015; Paul O'Connell, Ireland, shortly before leaving the pitch on a stretcher. 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D, Ireland v France. Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
11 October 2015; Paul O'Connell, Ireland, shortly before leaving the pitch on a stretcher. 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D, Ireland v France. Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Paul O'Connell leaves the pitch with Dr Eanna Falveyin what turned out to be his last game for Ireland
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

There were grown men in tears and it did incalculable damage to our Rugby World Cup hopes... so was Stuart Barnes right to put Paul O'Connell's injury in his top moments of the competition.

Barnes thought that the ovation received by the giant Limerick man from everyone inside the Millennium Stadium jusitifed inclusion in his top moments.

The TV3 co-commentator wrote on Sky Sports: "Paul O' Connell might beg to differ but whilst we salute this Irish hero let us praise the reaction of the entire Millennium Stadium that rose to its feet to applaud one of this hemisphere's modern greats.

"The French fans, the Welsh, the English as well as the Irish stood in a mark of appreciation. To reiterate, the fans were fantastic throughout."

The sight of O'Connell crumpled under a ruck, trying to stand up and walk but failing and ultimately being lifted onto a mobile stretcher and raising a clenched fist to the fans will live with everyone who was there to witness it.

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