Paul O’Connell: I Want To Coach Abroad

Munster & Ireland lock Paul O’Connell has admitted a part of him regrets having not taken up an offer to play rugby abroad during his career.

O’Connell has been with Munster since 2001. During that time, he has helped Munster to two Heineken Cups and also three Celtic League titles. He played for years alongside Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara both for club and country but the No.10 has called time on his professional career and will coach Racing Metro this term.

Coaching is something that O’Connell has on his radar for when he eventually calls time on his career and he admits he will be keeping a close eye on his friend’s progress at Metro.

“I would like to play or coach abroad,” O’Connell told the Rugby Paper. “One of the things is that I’ve only ever lived in Limerick all my life. Even though I was involved with Munster through the great years when we were winning Heineken Cups, it is a bit of a regret of mine.

“I could have taken the opportunity rugby would have given me to play abroad, but it would have been very hard to leave. But I’d have no problem doing what Rog [Ronan O’Gara] did and move abroad to coach.”

While Wales are counting the cost of losing a number of their premier players to teams in France – with Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate joining the likes of Luke Charteris, James Hook and Mike Phillips in the Top 14 – Ireland have also lost one of their star names with Jonathan Sexton running out for Metro this year.

O’Connell has tipped Sexton to thrive in the French league and concedes he regrets not having experienced it. O’Connell said: “You would imagine Jonny will have a very fulfilling life experience. Living in Paris, learning a new language, learning a new way of playing rugby, coaching rugby. It’s an opportunity in some ways I regret I haven’t taken.”

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