Wednesday 21 February 2018

Farewell to O'Connell, the great leader of Irish rugby

Farewell: Paul O'Connell. Photo: Sportsfile
Farewell: Paul O'Connell. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael McCarthy

Paul O'Connell made his international debut at Lansdowne Road in 2002. We hammered Wales.

O'Connell scored one of six tries, a scrum cap covering his shock of red hair, as if to disguise the significant figure he would become in all of our lives.

Ireland scored 54 points that day. We were delirious and, let's face it, in shock. We weren't many years removed, remember, from the dark days of Murray Kidd, Brian Ashton and World Cup exits in Lens.

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