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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

'Manic Aggression' and 11 more reasons Paul O'Connell will be a devastating loss to Irish rugby

He scared everyone, he put the fear of God in to them, but international locks will sleep a little easier come November.

THERE YOU HAVE it. Paul O’Connell – the man, the legend, the force of nature – will call time on his international career once Ireland run out of World Cup fixtures to play this autumn.

The lock’s career was a wall-to-wall display of exemplary commitment to his team and his craft on and off the field. However, if his Player of the Tournament award after this year’s Six Nations win is not enough evidence of how much Ireland will miss his presence, here’s a few more things we’ll miss when he starts togging out alongside Steffon Armitage, Leigh Halfpenny and Matt Giteau.

He always sets the tone, like this try to get us off to a flier on the Six Nations’ most thrilling day

Source: RBS 6 Nations/YouTube

A set-piece without him will take forever to get used to

Ireland's Paul O'Connell 1/3/2015

Anybody would be ready to run through another brick wall after one of these almighty slaps on the back

calf pat

He never lets his feathers get ruffled

Source: RBS 6 Nations/YouTube

(Well, maybe sometimes) when he does it’s a damn scary sight

Source: Conor Ryan/YouTube

He’s getting better with age


POC never knows when he’s down

Source: MottiRugby/YouTube

He always demands more of everyone involved

Even when the rest of us think the job was done quite well.


Nobody more than himself

The 35-year-old delivered this monstrous tackle and drive in the 76th minute of a Test match.

Source: The Weekly Haka/YouTube

That’s why the team-talks are so damn epic

Paul O'Connell during the warm up Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

‘Did you scare anyone?’

Source: Mark Conroy/YouTube

 In The42′s dreams, his last home Six Nations fixture ended with him romping all the way under the posts after this charge-down


He’ll just have to come up with some other incredible typically-leading-by-example way to sign off.

Thanks Paulie. Bon Chance.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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