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Ireland captain Paul O'Connell signs two year deal with Munster and IRFU

The second row looks set to finish his rugby career with his home province.

Paul O'Connell has signed a two-year contract extension.
Paul O'Connell has signed a two-year contract extension.
Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

IRELAND CAPTAIN PAUL O’CONNELL has signed a two year deal with Munster and the IRFU that will take him up to, and beyond, the 2015 World Cup.

The IRFU announced the deal this morning and its CEO Philip Browne commented, “Paul is one of Ireland’s greatest ever rugby players and his contribution to the success of Irish rugby over the past decade has been immense.”

O’Connell, who made his Ireland debut in 2002, will lead his country into this season’s Six Nations having been named captain by new coach Joe Schmidt last November. He said, “I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing with Munster for the next two seasons.

Over the years I have been privileged to play in many fantastic Munster sides and as we build for the future I am excited by the prospect of playing my part in achieving success with Munster and Ireland in the coming seasons.”

Munster coach Rob Penney added his “delighted” voice to the din. “Paul has contributed so much to Munster Rugby over the years and remains one of the best second rows in world rugby.  His experience and leadership will play a key role in the future development of this young Munster squad,” said Penney.

The IRFU did not release any financial details of the new contract but the union will be fully funding the deal. O’Connell admitted, late last season, that he was tempted to play Top 14 rugby but the 34-year-old now looks set to finish his career with his home province.

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Patrick McCarry

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