Paul O’Connell’s international career is over after it was confirmed he suffered a devastating hamstring injury in last Sunday’s win over France.
However former teammate and coach Anthony Foley has backed O’Connell to bounce back from the injury and feels that he can still contribute to Ireland’s World Cup, despite being sidelined.
I’m disappointed for Paulie, he’s an immense character in the game and a good friend, for this to happen is a cruel blow to him.
Knowing Paulie he’ll look to the positive side and do everything he can for the team to progress to the semi-finals, that’s the way his mind will tick over. For everyone who’s close to him and knows him, we all feel the pain that he’s going through.
He’s been a brilliant servant to Irish rugby, you can’t say enough about what he’s done and for it to end like this in a sad day.”
Speaking to RTE Foley feels that the Irish squad can still profit from O’Connell’s presence and is asking all the players to make an extra effort to ensure that O’Connell can get his hands on the Webb Ellis trophy at Twickenham.
“When you lose players it always gives somebody else the opportunity to get on the back of that. You can be sad in the respect of losing players but other players need to be selfish and realise it’s an opportunity for them to step in and step up and create their own career.”
“It’s about being selfish and making sure of their own performances and getting their own jobs done now and making sure they can hopefully get Paulie’s hands on that trophy.”