O’Connell says goodbye to Thomond

Date published: May 23 2015

Paul O'Connell revealed he had 'probably' played his last game at Thomond Park for Munster following their semi-final win.

The Munster legend's future is uncertain beyond the Rugby World Cup but his words after the match hinted that he wouldn't be returning to the ground as a Munster player next season after 14 years with the province.

“It probably is. It probably is. I said before the end of the season would be the time for fully making all those decisions but yeah it’s probably the last time I will play for Munster here,” said O’Connell to reporters.

O'Connell will have one more game in a Munster shirt however when they face Glasgow in next week's Pro12 Final.

Winning 21-18, it looked as though the Ospreys had clinched the contest in Limerick only for Nigel Owens to rule out their late score for a knock-on in the phases beforehand.

“Oh God, I thought I’d missed a tackle that was going to cost us the game although I was sure it was a knock-on,” added O'Connell.

“I was fairly sure it was two knock-ons. I was running back praying that the referee would go back to the TMO and check. I was delighted when I saw it was a knock-on for sure.

“It’s a strange feeling I think we did so many things really well and then shot ourselves in the foot completely. We scored some really good tries, played some really good rugby. Maybe just five, six probably more, glaring errors put us on the back foot. We handed over 12 really easy points and we had to work hard for our tries and our points. That was disappointing.”

Bowing out with some silverware for Munster would be a fitting end for O'Connell, with the Irish giants having gone without a trophy since 2011. 

“Certainly the job isn’t done. We have had a poor record in semi-finals in recent years. So to have gotten over that hurdle is great. I suppose we had a really good reputation in the past at being good at knock-out rugby. But in the last eight finals we have been quite poor.

“So to get a win over the line, especially against Ospreys who are such a good side in the Pro12 and very good away from home, was great. We’ll recover now and prepare for a big game against Glasgow next week.”