O'Connell confirms Stade Francais departure after one season

The former Ireland second row says he does not plan to join another club next season amid links to Toulon.

PAUL O’CONNELL WILL leave his coaching role at French outfit Stade Francais at the end of this season, but the former Ireland second row insists he does not plan to move into another club role next year.

Reports in France this week said the former Ireland second row’s relationship with Stade Francais head coach Heyneke Meyer had soured in recent weeks, and his departure from the Top 14 club has been confirmed this afternoon.

Paul O'Connell O'Connell is leaving Stade at the end of the season. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

In a statement, Stade Francais say it was decided by mutual agreement that O’Connell’s contract would not be extended into the 2019/20 campaign, and that the Limerick native ‘will always be considered a member of the Stade Français Paris family.’

O’Connell, who previously held a role with the Munster academy and then Ireland U20s, has been strongly linked with a position at Toulon. 

“I have decided not to stay beyond my contract year with the club and do not plan to join another club next season either,” he said.

“I had a great adventure at the Stade Français Paris. I am grateful to the club for the opportunity they gave me to live and work in Paris. I was delighted to be able to work alongside Heyneke Meyer, the staff and all the club’s players.

“Finally, I am looking forward to the end of the season and I hope to be able to help the club during the eventual finals of the Top 14.”

The Stade Francais statement added: “Stade Français Paris and Paul O’Connell are very happy with their time together and look forward to the challenges they will face until the end of the season. Paul O’Connell is and will always be considered a member of the Stade Français Paris family.” 

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Ryan Bailey

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