Tuesday 24 October 2017

O'Connell set for match-day role with Munster U-19s

29 December 2016; Munster Development assistant coach Paul O'Connell before the Munster Development XV v Ireland U20 XV match at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
29 December 2016; Munster Development assistant coach Paul O'Connell before the Munster Development XV v Ireland U20 XV match at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Paul O'Connell will continue to dip his toe into the coaching world next Wednesday when he will be part of Munster U-19s' backroom team for their game against Japan U-19s at Irish Independent Park.

The former Ireland captain will act as a technical advisor which is understood to be a similar role to the one that he undertook with a Munster development side in December for their clash against the Ireland U-20s.

O'Connell is currently working with the province's Academy in a mentoring role for which his one-year contract expires this summer. It is unclear, as of yet, if O'Connell will extend that deal or perhaps push for greater involvement.

The 37-year who was forced to retire last year due to a serious hamstring injury has had a hugely positive impact on Munster's younger generation and next Wednesday's game against Japan is another chance for him to be involved in a match-day setup.

Back in September, O'Connell spoke about his part-time role with Munster and the possibility of taking on more responsibility.

"I haven't committed to anything big," he said.

"That's difficult because you are really eager to do things when you finish but I think the most important thing is to take a step back. That hasn't been easy either."

The Limerick native has several business interests outside of rugby but has firmly kept his foot in the sport - in his role with Munster and also through his Six Nations punditry work with the BBC.

The Japan U-19s will play each of the four Irish provinces at age-grade level in the coming fortnight.

Irish Independent

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