O’Connell: I want to end my career at Munster

Paul O’Connell hopes to finish his rugby career with Munster.

O’Connell: I want to end my career at Munster

O’Connell set pulses racing at IRFU headquarters earlier this month when he expressed regret in a newspaper interview at having never played abroad.

But the 34-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of the season, last night spoke of his desire to remain with his home province until he hangs up his boots.

O’Connell said: “I think with Jonny (Sexton) having left last year I think if you mention France in any interview in any sentence it becomes a big topic for discussion.

“But yeah I hope I’ll finish my career with Munster,” he told RTÉ last night.

The 34-year-old is currently sidelined with a calf injury sustained in the warm-up to Munster’s Rabodirect Pro12 game against Glasgow on Friday night.

With the November Internationals looming large, O’Connell admitted his participation is now something of “a guessing game.”

He explained: “The injury is a little bit niggly. I’m not going to train this week, but hopefully be back into it next week. But it’s hard to know. It’s something similar to what Brian [O’Driscoll] has. His took three-and-a-half weeks, and I’m hopeful it won’t take that long, but it can be a bit of a guessing game. I feel very good at the moment and I’m improving every day so hopefully it will continue like that over the next few days. It was a little bit sore after the Gloucester game but nothing too serious but I did a little bit of training during the week, last week. It was fine and I went home that evening and got off the coach and it was very sore about an hour later. I warmed up against Glasgow and about five minutes into it I realised I wasn’t right. So I pulled out of that and I got a scan on Saturday morning and there’s a small bit of bruising in it and a small tear as well. So hopefully it’s nothing too serious and heals quickly.”

From his sideline vantage point O’Connell has got to witness new Ireland coach Joe Schmidt up close.

And he has been impressed by the new Ireland boss: “It’s been good. It’s exciting and different. You hear the Leinster players talking about it and he’s very high in detail.”

O’Connell is amongst the bookies’ favourite to be handed the captaincy by Schmidt but the Limerick legend insisted the topic hasn’t been broached.

“No there’s been no discussion on the captaincy yet. Guys are just getting their heads down and working as hard as they can. I don’t know what his plans are.”

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