Munster have confirmed that former second-row Paul O’Connell will join their academy in an advisory role with immediate effect.
The Munster Academy has been boosted by the addition of the former Munster and Ireland stalwart who joins the province in a part-time capacity for one year.
The role will see O’Connell act as a mentor to the next generation of Munster players, providing invaluable rugby technical expertise and advice, while guiding them in the areas of rugby development, preparation and best practice.
Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: “Every club in the world would love to have an iconic figure such as Paul O’Connell involved in their set-up. As a Limerick native and proud Munster and Irishman who has played and led teams for Munster, Ireland and the Lions, we were very eager to secure his services in some capacity.
“We certainly couldn’t let this resource and opportunity go and we are hugely thankful to the Commercial Board for their support in making this a reality.
“An appointment such as this is a further boost to our academy staff and young players, and to the organisation as a whole.
“As always we continue to strive for best in class and this latest appointment further highlights our ambition as we embark on a new chapter for the province, operating from our new high performance centre in UL.”
O’Connell, who was widely known as an inspirational leader on and off the field over a distinguished 14-year career, represented the province on 178 occasions and won two European Cups (2006, 2008), three League titles (2003, 2009, 2011) and a Celtic Cup (2005).
With Ireland, the 36-year-old won a Grand Slam (2009), led his country to two Six Nations championship titles (2014, 2015) and claimed four Triple Crowns (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009).
A three-time Lions tourist (2005, 2009, 2013), in 2009 O’Connell led the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa and was a member of the series winning side in Australia in 2013.