Monday 22 October 2018

Paul O'Connell to leave Munster Academy role

Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is off to France
Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is off to France
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Paul O’Connell is set to leave his advisory role with the Munster Academy, as the former Ireland captain ponders his next move.

O’Connell was appointed to the role two years ago and despite currently working as the Ireland U-20s forwards coach, the Limerick native has always said that he wants to dip his toe into coaching before he commits himself fully to it.

The 38-year old has plenty of interests outside of rugby that he may take time out to pursue. It is unclear at this stage whether he will continue with the Ireland U-20s beyond the Junior World Cup, which starts against France on Wednesday.

The news would come as a blow to Munster, who value O’Connell’s work with their stars of the future. Johann van Graan has also made no secret of his desire to have the legendary lock part of his coaching ticket further down the line.

It is believed that the Reds’ former scrum-half Cathal Sheridan will replace O’Connell. The 29-year-old, who made 35 appearances for the club before injury prematurely ended his career last year, is currently working as a mental skills coach with the Academy.

The Academy will be boosted by eight new faces this summer, with Munster schools champions Glenstal’s out-half Ben Healy, and PBC pair Sean French and Jonathan Wren among the newcomers.

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