Munster coach Foley: “O’Connell’s been a colossus”

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Munster coach Anthony Foley described Paul O'Connell, pictured, as a  'colossus' following Saturday's Guinness PRO12 semi-final victory over Ospreys at Thomond Park
MUNSTER head coach, Anthony Foley described Paul O’Connell as a ‘colossus’ after the second-row signed off with the province at Thomond Park on Saturday.

MUNSTER head coach, Anthony Foley described Paul O’Connell as a ‘colossus’ after the second-row signed off with the province at Thomond Park on Saturday.

O’Connell admitted he had ‘probably’ played his final game for Munster at the Limerick venue following their nail-biting 21-18 Guinness PRO12 semi-final win over the Ospreys. The victory helped Munster secure a final showdown with Glasgow at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday, 6.30pm.

Thirty five-year-old O’Connell may choose to retire from rugby after this autumn’s Rugby World Cup or instead opt to finish his career abroad, with French Top 14 4 side Toulon keen to sign him.

Coach Foley said: “(Paul O’Connell) He’s been a colossus. Any team he was involved with, it’s just the manner in which he goes about it, the standards he sets.

“He’s the most challenging person that you’ll come across in your whole life, he’s been a massive influence on everyone who has played with him, coaches that have coached around him and have worked with him. Everything’s got to come to an end some time, but we’ll know more when Paul lets us all know more.”

Munster’s win over the Ospreys came at a cost, however, with scrum-half Conor Murray picking up a suspected medial collateral ligament injury in his knee, while captain Peter O’Mahony, hip flexor, and Simon Zebo, head injury assessment, are also in a race to be fit for Saturday’s final at the 18,000 capacity Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.