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Paul O'Connell has been talking to the IRFU about his coaching future

The 36-year-old former lock has been in discussions with the union.

THE IRFU ARE in contact with Paul O’Connell over a possible coaching role within the union.

The 36-year-0ld announced his retirement from playing in February, having previously agreed a move to Toulon on a two-year deal.

Paul O'Connell O'Connell was forced to retire after the World Cup. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

O’Connell suffered a severe hamstring injury at the World Cup last year, with medical advice subsequently suggesting that the ex-second row would not make a full recovery and ending his French adventure before it even began.

The Limerick man concluded his playing days having won 108 caps for Ireland, as well as having toured three times with the Lions. His Munster career saw O’Connell win two Heineken Cups and three Celtic Leagues.

O’Connell has previously spoken about an interest in moving into the world of coaching and IRFU performance director David Nucifora has now confirmed that the union remains in talks with O’Connell about such a role.

“We’ve been chatting with Paul about what his future looks like,” said Nucifora.

“He’ll make his decision when he’s ready about what exactly he wants to do, but we’ve been in touch with Paul. We were speaking to Paul before he retired about what the future might look like.

“You don’t want to waste a resource like Paul O’Connell, he’s got a lot to offer Irish rugby going forward. We’re just working with Paul to work out the best way of utilising what he brings to our game.”

O’Connell’s former team-mate Ronan O’Gara has stated his desire to coach alongside the former lock at some point.

The ex-Munster captain has already had stints with Conor O’Shea at Harlequins and with Bernard Jackman’s Grenoble since retiring, where he has garnered first-hand coaching experience.

O’Connell’s skills would seem best suited to a forwards coaching role, although his tactical and technical understanding of the game is rounded.

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Murray Kinsella

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