O'Connell stays loyal to Munster

Mon, 20 Jan 2014 13:22
Large paul o connell shouts Large paul o connell hand on head

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has turned down a potentially lucrative move to France in order to sign a new two-year contract that will keep him at Munster.

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has turned down a potentially lucrative move to France in order to sign a new two-year central contract that will keep him at Munster until at least 2016.

Monday's announcement by the Irish Rugby Football Union means the 34-year-old lock is now set to see out his career with his home province.

O'Connell's decision, coming shortly before the start of the Six Nations next month, will be a welcome boost to the IRFU as it bids to keep its top players at home and out of the hands of wealthy French clubs.

Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton joined Paris-based Racing Metro at the start of this season.

But O'Connell's fellow back-row, Sean O'Brien, turned down a move to Toulon - with France's Midi Olympique reporting that Ireland No.8 Jamie Heaslip has also said 'no' to the reigning European champions.

"I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing with Munster for the next two seasons," said O'Connell in an IRFU statement.

"Over the years I have been privileged to play in many fantastic Munster sides and as we build for the future I am excited by the prospect of playing my part in achieving success with Munster and Ireland in the coming seasons," added the second row, who will look to star for his country in next year's World Cup in England.

O'Connell has made 154 Munster appearances since his debut in 2001 and has been capped 88 times by Ireland.

Three-times a tourist with the British and Irish Lions and captain of the combined side in South Africa in 2009, O'Connell led Munster to European Cup glory in 2008 and the Celtic League title in 2009 and 2011.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne, who hailed O'Connell as one of Ireland's greatest players, welcomed his decision by saying: "Paul is one of Ireland's greatest ever rugby players and his contribution to the success of Irish rugby over the past decade has been immense.

"We are delighted that the Irish captain has committed his future to Munster and Ireland for the next two years."

Munster coach Rob Penney added: "Paul has contributed so much to Munster over the years and remains one of the best second rows in world rugby.

"His experience and leadership will play a key role in the future development of this young Munster squad."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 10 10 0 0 48
Munster 10 7 0 3 36
Cheetahs 10 6 0 4 29
Cardiff Blues 10 4 0 6 19
Connacht 10 3 0 7 18
Zebre 10 3 0 7 16
Ospreys 10 2 0 8 11
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 10 8 0 2 40
Leinster 10 8 0 2 37
Ulster 10 7 1 2 35
Edinburgh 10 6 0 4 28
Treviso 10 3 0 7 15
Dragons 10 2 1 7 13
Kings 10 0 0 10 4