Friday 27 April 2018

Natural leader Paulie will still be influential

Paul O'Connell's influence will still resonate in Munster
Paul O'Connell's influence will still resonate in Munster

David Wallace

Paul O'Connell has played his last game for Ireland, but I don't think it's the last time he will be seen around the camp in this World Cup.

It was awful to see him leave the pitch like he did, injured at half-time against France. But if it was his last game, he will have wanted to go out on a high, and that Irish victory certainly was one.

For such a big guy, he is a fantastic poacher. Even though he is a second-row, he gets over that ball really well - it is something that he has worked on throughout his career.

To get injured in that position speaks volumes for the type of player he was. It was right at the end of the half when other players might have been getting tired, but he fought for possession until the end.

It is a real shame to lose him now but he is the spiritual leader, not just as a player, but for what he brings off the pitch.

He may be gone for the rest of this tournament, but we saw it after he went off against France - the other lads stood up and were counted.

They will do it for themselves and for their great captain Paulie.

Irish Independent

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