A Retiring Statement from a Rugby Great

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Paul O’Connell waves to the fans after his final game for Ireland in the Aviva stadium.

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell has announced his retirement from rugby and will not be plying his trade with Toulon for the next two seasons as expected.

The 36 year-old picked up a hamstring injury during Ireland’s World Cup campaign which saw him sit out the end of the competition. He was expected to join up with Toulon upon completing his rehabilitation but this is no longer the case. He released this statement this morning:

It is with deep regret that I have decided to retire from professional rugby following medical advice. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all at Rugby Club Toulonnais for their understanding and support over the past few months.

Since sustaining the injury at the World Cup I have been fully focused on returning to fitness and starting an exciting new chapter for both myself and my family in Toulon. Unfortunately this will no longer be possible.

I have been blessed to be a professional rugby player for over 14 years and to be part of Munster andIreland 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.

I would like to thank those at Young Munster RFC, Munster Rugby, the IRFU and Lions Rugby who have supported me over the course of my playing career.

Special thanks must go to my wife Emily for her unwavering support through the good and the bad and to my parents Michael and Shelagh.

Lastly I would like to thank everyone who has supported the teams I have been a part of. The support you have shown me is humbling and an immense source of pride for both myself and my family.

O’Connell represented Munster on 178 occasions, and won two European Cups (2006, 2008), three League titles (2003, 2009, 2011) and a Celtic Cup in 2005.

He also earned 101 caps for his country, winning a Grand Slam (2009), two RBS 6 Nations championship titles as captain (2014, 2015) and four Triple Crowns (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009).

He captained the touring British and Irish Lions to South Africa, which marked his third tour as a Lion (2005, 2009, 2013), playing in 7 Lions Tests.

O’Connell’s legendary status will last forever in Limerick, Munster and Ireland, as well as around the world. He is revered as one of the best second-rows to ever play the game, and The Loose Head would like to wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

 

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