O’Connell, IRFU in talks over coaching role

Date published: June 1 2016

Former Ireland second-row and captain Paul O’Connell has held talks with the Irish Rugby Football Union over a possible coaching position.

That was the word from the IRFU’s performance director, David Nucifora, who revealed that discussions with O’Connell began before he decided to retire in February.

This after the 36-year-old failed to recover from a hamstring injury sustained at last year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

“We’ve been chatting with Paul about what his future looks like,” Nucifora told the Irish Independent.

“Again, he’ll make his decision when he’s ready about what exactly he wants to do, but we’ve been in touch with Paul, we were speaking to Paul before he retired about what the future might look like.

“You don’t want to waste a resource like Paul O’Connell, he’s got a lot to offer Irish rugby going forward. We’re just working with Paul to work out the best way of utilising what he brings to our game.”

O’Connell has kept a low profile since his retirement and has not publicly stated that he wants to go into coaching, although he has visited professional clubs, like Harlequins and Grenoble, and is not going to be short on offers if he decides to coach.

His former Munster and Ireland team-mate Ronan O’Gara, who is currently part of Racing 92’s coaching staff, said earlier this year that his ambition is to coach alongside O’Connell.