Amazing Paul O’Connell Story That Shows He Is No Ordinary Man
Former Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan was on The Last Word last night reminiscing of an amazing Paul O’Connell story that proves he is no ordinary man.
Almost ten years ago today, Ireland travelled to Paris for a Six Nations game while O’Sullivan was in charge.
France raced into 29-3 in the first-half and the game was all but over by half-time. With just less than 15 minutes remaining on the clock, Ireland had cut the lead to 12, while they were unable to complete the turnaround, it was one of the finest displays of character by an Irish team in recent memory.
O’Connell suffered a devastating collarbone injury while Ireland were still 30 points down but amazingly played on, showing a tolerance for pain which O’Sullivan for one could barely comprehend.
Probably the thing that jumps out at me is back in 2006 we were playing in Paris. We started the game horrendously. We were all over the place. I think – oh God – it must have been 30 points down at half time. We were taking water like we were drowning out there.
We went out in the second half and we steadied the ship. We were coming back into the game and maybe ten minutes into the second half he was taken off the side of a ruck by a French player and he separated his AC joint which is his collarbone and his collarbone popped up. It was, I suppose, half an inch after popping up, almost breaking through the skin.
For most people, most mortals, the pain of that is excruciating. Like you would have been reeled ashore; an ice-pack and sit him down.
He played on, he never broke stride, he ran through it. To me, I just couldn’t get my head around how he went through the pain barrier for 30 minutes in Paris.
We came back and we scared the hell out of the French and nearly won the game. His contribution in the second half was extraordinary – by any standards – when you consider he had a separated AC joint as he was doing it, to me that was just incredible.