Rugby says farewell to ‘superman’ Paul O’Connell

Rugby says farewell to ‘superman’ Paul O’Connell

The rugby world and beyond are paying tribute to Paul O’Connell after today’s announcement that he was retiring from rugby ‘following medical advice’.

The Munster legend had signed a two-year deal with French side Toulon but in the end never played for them, as he struggled to recover from injury.

Ireland’s talismanic former captain racked up 108 caps in 13 years of Test rugby, and will go down as one of his country’s finest-ever international stars.

The gritty Munster lock beat the turf in agony on tearing his hamstring in Ireland’s 24-9 Pool D World Cup victory over France, however, reacting as much to the pain as the clear result of the blow.

O’Connell was quickly ruled out of Ireland’s quarter-final showdown with Argentina, and Joe Schmidt’s side later lost out 43-20.

O’Connell pressed on undeterred in his bid to join Toulon, despite requiring surgery to repair his serious hamstring problem.

Four months on, however, the British & Irish Lion has been forced to admit defeat in that battle to return to the field.

Video from RBS 6 Nations.

Today he said: "I have been blessed to be a professional rugby player for over 14 years and to be part of Munster and Ireland teams that have experienced success.

"I have played with some of the best players to ever line out in the red of Munster and the green of Ireland and have had the privilege of captaining my country.”

Fans and fellow players have paid tribute to the iconic player.

Paul O’Connell’s journey to 100 caps

More in this Section

'We were training in a sheep field with two generator lights''We were training in a sheep field with two generator lights'

Accrington salute Ipswich fans for Billy Kee solidarity bannerAccrington salute Ipswich fans for Billy Kee solidarity banner

Chris Sutton reacts angrily to dementia figuresChris Sutton reacts angrily to dementia figures

Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale earns new long-term contractBournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale earns new long-term contract


Lifestyle

Carol O’Callaghan continues her round-up of home interior shops in country towns and the outer reaches of our cities, finding more treasure troves which offer something new and a touch of exclusivityMade in Munster: The best interior shops in country towns

When the Irish Examiner broke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.Wedding of the Week: Time for Australian celebrations for bride and groom photobombed by deer

At the start of the 10th and final episode of Confronting: OJ Simpson, a series which has been downloaded over five million times since launching in June, host Kim Goldman is in tears, talking to her father about how strong he was through the murder of her brother, his son,Ron Goldman.Podcast Corner: Host relives brother’s death in famous case

Thomas McCarthy pays tribute to his late friend — poet and journalist Seán Dunne'Seán Dunne was one of the most loved people I ever knew'

More From The Irish Examiner