The IRFU have this morning announced that Ireland’s heroic leader Paul O’Connell has retired from all rugby.
He had struggled to recover from the hamstring injury that had ended his international career during the Rugby World Cup in France last autumn but was contracted to play with French side Toulon. In the end it was a move that he could not complete.
The Munster great released the following statement through the IRFU: “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.”
Former teammate and predecessor as Irish captain. Brian O’Driscoll made one the first of what will be many tributes paid to the Limerick man as news of his retirement spreads this morning:
Really disappointing to see @Paul_OConnell having to retire. Sensational career in Red & Green. Simply irreplaceable.
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) February 9, 2016