Paul O'Connell camp deny new Toulon link
Paul O'Connell's future remains shrouded in doubt after another report from France claims that he had signed a contract to join Toulon next season, thus terminating his IRFU deal a year earlier than planned.
However, the Irish Independent has been informed by a source close to the player that there has been no contact made with the French champions and a deal has not been signed.
In response to the report in the La Provence newspaper, an IRFU spokesman reiterated that they do not publicly discuss player contracts.
O'Connell will be keen to finally put paid to the series of rumours swirling in the French media when he meets the Irish press for a pre-planned media event in Dublin tomorrow afternoon.
The Irish captain has previously been unable to confirm whether or not he will play on after this year's World Cup, despite having another year to run on his deal.
Last week, Toulon were forced to deny another report claiming there had been a deal struck with the player.
"Toulon cautions that Paul O'Connell has not signed a contract with Toulon Rugby Club and the alleged contacts between the player and the Red and Black are pure speculation," ran the statement.
Subsequently, IRFU performance director David Nucifora said that "Paul is contracted until the end of June 2016 so unless I hear otherwise, it is not an issue."
However, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was seemingly less forthright in his response when suggesting that the player was the one who made his decisions.
"He will make some decisions in the lead up to that," was Schmidt's response. "Of course we will try to influence him."