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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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A tribute to Munster legend Paul O'Connell in 38 epic pictures

The natural-born leader has enjoyed 14 incredible years with his native province.

THE END IS nigh. Not of Paul O’Connell or his incredible feats on a rugby pitch, but for his time in a Munster jersey.

After 14 years, 173 appearances, 19 tries, four trophies and a bottomless pit of his own blood and sweat, the Limerick man will take on Glasgow Warriors in Belfast knowing that he will not don the red jersey again.

It’s been a hell of a journey.

Paul O’Connell made his debut against Edinburgh in 2001. 14 years on, he was still carrying the fight to them

Paul OÕConnell Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Making yards with the ball in hand was never his strongest suit, but it took a brave man to take him down

Paul O'Connell of Munster drives through the Connacht defence Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Paul O'Connell of Munster 27/12/2005 Source: ©INPHO

Paul O'Connell DIGITAL

Paul O'Connell is tackled by Jason Forster 7/4/2006

A natural leader, all other ‘alphas’ instinctively rowed in behind

Paul O'Connell Source: PRESSEYE/Matt Mackey/INPHO

Paul O'Connell and the Munster forwards 21/1/2006

The ultimate piece of artillery in maul

Paul O'Connell gets a drive going

Be it in attack…

Paul O'Connell and Louis Picamoles 5/4/2014

James Coughlan and Paul O'Connell in a maul 5/4/2014

…or defence

Jamie Heaslip and Bryce Williams with Denis Leamy and Paul O'Connell 23/4/2006

As a line-out jumper, he remains imperious

Paul O'Connell climbs for a line out Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Making red ball steady and opposition possession an absolute nightmare

Paul O'Connell with Leo Cullen 22/10/2006

Gary Longwell

There were bad days

Paul O'Connell

Sad days

Paul O'Connell cries at the end of the game

Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell

Miraculous days

Paul O'Connell at the end of the match

All of them were Tough Days

Jamie Cudmore is sent off following an incident with Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell 10/5/2002 DIGITAL

Paul O'Connell 29/11/2002

Paul O'Connell of Munster 27/12/2005

 But we’ll all remember the great days

Paul O'Connell and Serge Betsen 20/5/2006

Paul O'Connell 24/5/2008 Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Paul O'Connell gets his medal 20/5/2006

Paul O'Connell celebrates 24/5/2008

One thing never changed, commitment

Paul O'Connell tackled

He’s played against the best

Brian O'Driscoll congratulates Brian O'Driscoll congratulates Paul O'Connell

Played with the best

Ronan O'Gara and Paul O'Connell celebrate

Paul O'Connell and Ronan O'Gara

Paul O'Connell and Peter Stringer celebrate

And he has been the best

Paul O'Connell acknowledges the victory at the end of the match

Paul O'Connell celebrates

 He has waved goodbye to a golden generation

Munster Celebrations Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

He’s ushering in a new one

Tommy O'Donnell and Paul O'Connell after the match

Paul O'Connell talks to the Munster players

Paul O’Connell, the man that made European rugby fear Munster

Paul O'Connell looks on following an Incident with Jamie Cudmore

Under 20 star Ringrose digs in to make sure feet don’t leave the ground

Pro12 title would be springboard to bigger games and bigger crowds for Munster

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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