One of Ireland’s greatest ever players and former captain Paul O’Connell has today announced his retirement with immediate effect following medical advice.
The 36-year-old Munsterman who signed a two-year contract with Toulon last summer had yet to feature for the French club after sustaining a hamstring injury during the 2015 Rugby World Cup during his final venture with the national team.
Speaking of the disappointing news, the former British & Irish Lion said (BBC):
It is with deep regret that I have decided to retire from professional rugby following medical advice.
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.
The legendary lock had amassed 108 caps for his nation and proved to be an iconic leader both on and off the pitch during his 13-year stint with the national team that saw him win three RBS Six Nations Championships, one Grand Slam and four Triple Crowns.
O’Connell was also a talismanic leader for his province Munster and guided his side to two Heineken Cups and three domestic league titles.
The 6ft 6in giant also captained his nation on 28 occasions and played a massive role in Ireland’s recent Six Nations success as he guided the side to back-to-back championship wins.
YouTube: Paul O’Connell – Manic Aggression