Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has indicated that he will retire either after the World Cup this year or the following summer.
The Munster second-row has previously said that he was unsure when he will finally hang up his boots, but in an interview with TV3 today, he said that he will come to a decision soon.
“I probably need to make up my mind fairly quickly,” he said. “I’m just trying to enjoy my playing at the moment and trying to be in the best physical condition that I can for the World Cup.”
“The injuries have taken a bit off my career. There are certain things you can’t do in training. It’s all about listening to the body, but I think I’m in good shape at the moment and I’ll be in good shape at the World Cup.
“It doesn’t mean I’ll keep on playing. It’s a decision I have to make probably in the next few months. But I’m fairly undecided at the moment.”
Similar to Brian O'Driscoll's departure from Leinsterlast summer, it has been feared that there will be nobody able to step into the breach when the towering Limerick man calls time on his career, something the 35 year-old rejects strongly.
“We’ve a few fantastic second rows coming through, it’s a position Munster are quite strong in. So when the time comes, I don’t think I’ll be a big loss.”
In December O'Connell said that he hopes to guide Ireland to World Cup glory in 2015 in what potentially could be the end of his career.
"We certainly have a chance," he admitted.
"We have shown that we can beat anyone on our day. We still don't have the strength in depth of the southern hemisphere nations, so there are certain things that will have to go our way - but I think we have the potential to win a World Cup."
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