Ronan O’Gara Reckons He Might Know Where Paul O’Connell’s Future Lies


Paul O’Connell announced earlier this week that the hamstring injury he suffered at the World Cup was a career-ending one thus ending his career in France before it even began.

Ronan O’Gara however feels that France could still be where O’Connell’s future lies.

O’Gara is currently coaching at Racing 92 and he explained in his Irish Examiner column on Friday morning that O’Connell’s coaching future, at least in the short term, could be at Toulon.

“The disappointment Paul and his wife Emily may feel…will be short lived. Emily was set on going there and I think Paulie may still end up coaching in the south of France next year.
“Toulon have a lot of persuading to do. But if they want a forwards coach, or a man who can offer so much on the training pitch or in the dressing room it’s Paul O’Connell.”

O’Connell would join a host of Irish men coaching in France including O’Gara (Racing) and Bernard Jackman and Mike Prendergast who are both at Grenoble.

O’Gara feels that if O’Connell wants to take the first steps towards running his own rugby side, Toulon may present the ideal opportunity.

“He has run the Munster and Ireland line-out for 15 years. He has run 80% of the team meetings for 15 years. If he eventually goes down the forwards coach route he’ll have some research to do on lines of running, the breakdown etc. But forward play, and leading – that’s his bread and butter, and this guy is different gravy. The language isn’t an issue there, because everyone in Toulon speaks English.”

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