Paul O'Connell in action against Racing Metro last season. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
future munster coach

Paul O'Connell: 'I would like to play or coach abroad'

The Munster hero may follow Ronan O’Gara and Jonny Sexton to France.

PAUL O’CONNELL HAS revealed an ambition to follow the lead of Ronan O’Gara and coach abroad.

The Munster lock is currently recovering from the broken arm that ruled him out of the last two Lions Tests during the summer. He has previously told that he wants to play on until the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and, if his body holds up, beyond.

O’Connell has played 145 times for Munster since making his debut for the province in 2001. The highlights of his 12-year career with the club have been Heineken Cup wins in 2006 and 2008. However, the lock did confess to one regret.

O’Connell told The Rugby Paper, “I would like to play or coach abroad. 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,” he added, “but it would have been very hard to leave. But I’d have no problem doing what RO’G [Ronan O'Gara] did and move abroad to coach.”

O’Gara, backs coach at Racing Metro, was on the sidelines for his first top 14 game of the season. Racing won 19-14 with O’Connell’s Ireland and Lions teammate Jonathan Sexton contributing eight points and setting up a try. The legendary lock is following Sexton’s adventure with a tinge of jealousy.

“You would imagine Jonny will have a very fulfilling life experience,” he said. “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.”

The full interview with O’Connell is available in The Rugby Paper.

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