Paul O’Connell’s playing days may be over but the Limerick man still doesn’t know what type of career he will pursue next.
The former Munster and Ireland lock was speaking on local station Limerick;s Live 95FM this morning and said he has been spending the last few weeks thanking all his fans for their messages of support and is endeavouring to reply to everyone.
“Someone wrote me a letter and said ‘Stop saying you’re retiring, say you’re changing career’, and that’s what I’m doing.
“The injury I got in the World Cup was just one injury too far for me. While I’ll be fine, I just won’t be fine for tackling 18 stone rugby players any more. I should be able to play a bit of five-a-side and golf, but it was unfortunate.”
O’Connell is understandably upset his French venture is over before it even began and even stated that he and his five-year-old son Paddy had been taking French language classes at the Alliance Francaise de Limerick in Pery Square.
“We had an exciting adventure ahead of us going to Toulon. I’ve been down there a few times, and there are some amazing players there, but unfortunately it’s not going to happen and I’ve to move on to the next thing now. Everyone was looking forward to it, but that’s life you know. You can’t get too upset over something you’ve no control over. You just have to move on, and unfortunately the injury isn’t going to come as right as we’d hoped, so you just had to make that decision, make the call, and move on.
O’Connell also praised the support and kind messages he has received since the announcement of his retirement and ultimately stated that his entire career was enjoyable and he hopes that whatever he ends up doing next will be as fun.
“I wouldn’t be one for looking back a whole lot anyway. I certainly haven’t done it in the last few weeks anyway. People have been very nice to me in the last few weeks, with letters and text messages and emails and phonecalls, that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks, is trying to reply to as many of those as I can. I probably wasn’t always as diligent in doing that when I was playing because I always felt I had an excuse when I was training and people would understand. But this week I was really conscious in trying to reply to everyone and I’m nearly there now I think.
“I don’t look back much, but obviously when I look back you look at the trophies you won, the craic we had was a big part of it and that’s probably what made us good in Munster and in Ireland as well.
“It was incredibly enjoyable – it was hard at times, hard training, some of the losses are days I’ll never forget either, but ultimately it was just brilliant craic, with the fans, with the players. To think this was my full-time job for 14, 15 years, I just hope whatever I end up doing will be as much fun,” [Limerick Leader]