Paul O’Connell will play his club rugby with French giants Toulon when he eventually recovers from the terrible hamstring injury he suffered in Ireland’s final pool game of the Rugby World Cup, and he is making the move abroad only after retiring from international rugby.
Speaking at the Irish Independent Property Industry Excellence Awards, O’Connell left no doubt about how he feels on the subject, citing Jonny Sexton’s move to Racing Metro as an example:
I don’t think any player who still wants to play rugby for Ireland or wants to play well has any business playing in France or playing abroad. You get very well looked after when you play here with the provinces.
When we play the Six Nations it’s a format of two games on, one weekend off, one game on, one weekend off, and then two games on. The last two seasons, those two weekends off were a good opportunity to recover and rest not just physically but also mentally.
Johnny was always flying back to play a game against Clermont or play really hard games. It’s great that he’s back. He’s an incredible player. He’s not just a great player, he’s a great guy. Everyone looks up to him. Even the old guys look up to him. It’s great Ireland have brought him back.