Former Munster, Ireland and Lions captain Paul O’Connell is widely respected as one of the greatest players of the professional era in the country, and commands respect all over the globe. The 38-year-old made 108 appearances for Ireland, the last coming against France in the 2015 World Cup.
Throughout his career, he was an inspiration in the pack, as he helped Ireland to a Grand Slam title in 2009, as well as winning two Heineken Cups with Munster in 2006 and 2008.
After his career was cut short by injury following his move to Toulon, the giant lock retired, and many have expected him to take up a coaching role since. He has been working in an advisory role with Munster Rugby in the interim.
Today, Irish Rugby have announced that O’Connell will take up a assistant coaching role with the national U20 team.
Breaking News: @Paul_OConnell has joined the Ireland U20 Coaching staff as an Assistant Coach starting today ahead of festive fixtures v @leinsterrugby A & @Munsterrugby A #FutureIsGreen 😀 pic.twitter.com/9RXeIQeZJX
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) December 20, 2017
The fact that O’Connell is bringing his leadership and experience to the table can only be a positive for the future of Irish Rugby, as he aims to offer another edge to the next generation.
The U20 side have matches against the Leinster and Munster ‘A’ sides this month, as part of their preparations ahead of the Six Nations.