Dublin: 19°C Monday 16 May 2022

Paul O'Connell arrives in Minnesota to deliver motivational speech to Darren Clarke's Europe

European captain Clarke is hoping to tap into O’Connell’s extraordinary leadership qualities.

O'Connell will deliver his speech later.
O'Connell will deliver his speech later.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated at 17.00

DARREN CLARKE HAS enlisted the help of Paul O’Connell to deliver a motivational speech to his European players ahead of the start of the Ryder Cup on Friday.

Just as Paul McGinley did with Sir Alex Ferguson two years ago, Clarke will hope O’Connell can help galvanise his team as they go in search of a fourth straight victory at Hazeltine.

According to The Telegraph, the former Ireland and Munster captain landed in Minnesota last night and will meet the players after they’ve completed their practice rounds later today.

O’Connell, who currently has a role with the Munster Academy, had been on Clarke’s wishlist for some time, although he had already intended to travel to America for the three-day event.

With six rookies – Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, Belgian Thomas Pieters and an English quartet — Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood and Masters winner Danny Willett — in his team, Clarke will want O’Connell’s outstanding leadership qualities to rub off on his players.

While Europe have dominated lately, a veteran USA team are favourites to reclaim the trophy they’ve lost eight of the last 10 editions.

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

‘Rory’s a wonderful young man and an unbelievable golfer. He’s hugely inspirational’

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next: