Paul O’Connell Responds To Rumours Linking Him With A Return To Munster

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Not yet.

Paul O’Connell has ruled out a return to Munster – at least in the short-term anyway, as he gets set to bid farewell to Stade Francais at the end of the season.

Munster head coach Johann van Graan earlier this week said he is open to adding to his current coaching ticket – and left the door open for Paul O’Connell and Ronan O’Gara to potentially return.

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But O’Connell doesn’t feel he has the necessary experience to “do the job well” but hasn’t ruled out an eventual return to his home province.

“The coaches that are there are doing a fantastic job and I’m sure they’ll remain there,” O’Connell said speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“It’s really enjoyable now to come back and go to a game with my family. I think you’d have to be very, very sure before you ever went back there or if they ever wanted you to go back there.

“For me I’d have to gather a lot more experience to have the confidence to do the job well. I won’t be back there in the short-term future anyway.”

In terms of leaving Stade Francais a year into his two-year contract, O’Connell says the French side do things “very, very differently” to the way he would like to do things.

“I think they do some things very, very differently there to the way I would like to do them so I’ve decided to move on,” he added

“It’s been a fantastic year for me and the family. I suppose you learn how lucky we are in Irish rugby — the structure, the way it’s run is far better suited to the long-term development of the player.

It’s very competitive from a business point of view in France. It’s very hard to think long-term there. I’ve really enjoyed my time there — I had a great relationship with the club.

“My little boy plays for Stade Francais as well so he’s a Stade fan for a long time to come.

“It has been a great year but there are a few differences in how we’d like to do things and that’s no big deal.”