Paul O’Connell is a retired Irish rugby union player. Playing at lock, O’Connell played 108 times for Ireland, which at that period of time, meant he was Ireland’s third most-capped player of all time and the eighth most-capped player in international rugby union.
O’Connell signed for Munster in 2001 and soon made his debut in a match against Edinburgh. He was an instant regular in the Munster side and made his debut in the Heineken Cup match against Castres Olympique which Munster won. After a number of marvellous performances for Munster, O’Connell made his debut for Ireland against Wales in the 2002 Six Nations competition. O’Connell scored a try in the match but claims to not remember it at all! During the first half, he was knocked clean unconscious and continued to play, during that time he scored a try and has no recollection of it.
He played a vital role in Munster’s squad that won the 2003 Celtic League. He played in his first World Cup in 2003 and took part in 5 games, including the quarter-final match against France. O’Connell captained the Irish side in their opening game of the 2004 Six Nations campaign due to the absence of Brian O’Driscoll. 2004 was a successful year for both O’Connell and Munster, winning the last ever Celtic Cup. O’Connell was a part of the Munster team that won the Heineken Cup in 2005-06, he played an integral part in their semi-final and final games.
O’Connell enjoyed a 15-year career at Munster where he played 178 matches. He later signed for Toulon but never played a game for them. O'Connell's dedication and loyalty is often discussed during his time as a rugby speaker, he often reflects on his dedication to Munster and the Irish national side. He also represented the British and Irish Lions and made 7 appearances. O’Connell continued to play for Ireland and Munster until he was forced to retire from all forms of professional rugby based on medical advice.
As a rugby speaker, O’Connell discusses his professional career and how to overcome a career-ending injury. His genuine personality and great character make him the perfect speaker for any type of event.