Billy Stickland/INPHO Paul O'Connell has officially been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup.
# End of an era
IRFU confirm Paul O'Connell's Ireland career is over
Mike McCarthy will replace O’Connell in the second row.

THE HAMSTRING INJURY which saw Paul O’Connell carted off the field against France on Sunday has brought a premature end to his international career the IRFU officially confirmed this morning.

O’Connell will undergo surgery this week after suffering what was described as a “significant” hamstring injury.

The second row was expected to join Toulon after the World Cup but, in a statement today, the IRFU say that his time out of the game will “depend on the outcome of the surgery.”

Mike McCarthy has been called up to the Ireland squad in place of O’Connell.

O’Connell scored eight tries in 108 appearances for Ireland.

He is one of only four players to reach three figures for his country and third behind Brian O’Driscoll (133) and former Munster team-mate Ronan O’Gara (128).

Leinster lock McCarthy has made 17 appearances for Ireland, including seven from the replacements.

Farewell to Paul O’Connell, the greatest leader Ireland ever had

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