Ireland Captain out of Rugby World Cup

LONDON, 13 Oct – Paul O’Connell’s 108-test career is over after the Ireland captain sustained a severe hamstring injury in the victory over France in Cardiff on Sunday.

The 35-year-old lock (pictured with ball in hand against France) will have surgery this week and not play again at Rugby World Cup 2015.

His replacement, Leinster’s Mike McCarthy, will join the squad in Cardiff on Tuesday.

It is a hugely disappointing way for Limerick man O’Connell to end his international career. In June it was announced he would be retiring from test rugby after the World Cup, having signed a two-year deal with French club Toulon.

He led Ireland in 28 tests (17 wins, 10 losses, 1 draw) while his eighth and final try came against England in last month’s World Cup warm-up game at Twickenham. He was also captain in three of his seven tests for the British and Irish Lions paulHe retires as a three-time Six Nations winner (2009, 2014 and 2015) and also won a grand slam (2009) and four triple crowns (2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009).

He toured three times with the Lions, captaining the 2009 team in South Africa and helping the 2013 side to win the series in Australia. He also played at four successive Rugby World Cups starting in 2003.

A natural-born leader, O’Connell captained Ireland to Six Nations glory in 2014 and 2015 and won the player of the championship, IRUPA players’ player of the year and the Rugby Writers of Ireland player of the year awards last season.

RNS mr


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