Paul O'Connell


Paul O'Connell

Rugger
name = Paul O'Connell


caption =
birthname =
nickname = Big Red, GOD, POC
birthyear = 1979
birthmonth = 10
birthday = 20
placeofbirth = Limerick, Munster, Ireland
height = 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
weight = 111 kg (17 st 7 lb)
ru_currentclub = Cork Constitution
ru_position = Lock
ru_clubyears =
ru_clubupdate =
ru_proclubs = Young Munster
ru_clubcaps =
ru_clubpoints =
ru_province = Munster
ru_provinceyears = 2001-present
ru_provincecaps = 58
ru_provincepoints = (45)
ru_provinceupdate = 10 December 2006
ru_nationalyears = 2002-present 2005
ru_nationalteam = Ireland British and Irish Lions
ru_nationalcaps = 52 3
ru_nationalpoints = (30) (0)
ru_ntupdate = 10 December 2006
other = yes
spouse =
children =
relatives =
school = Ard Scoil Ris
university =

Paul O'Connell (born 20 October 1979 in Limerickcite web
title=MunsterRugby.ie Player Profiles
url=http://www.munsterrugby.ie/97_113.php
accessdate=Jan 27
accessyear=2007
] ) is an Irish rugby union player who plays lock for Munster and Ireland.

O'Connell made his debut for Ireland against Wales in the Six Nations 2002, scoring a try. He was a part of Ireland's Rugby World Cup 2003 squad, and, in the first game of the Six Nations 2004, against France, he was stand-in captain for the injured Brian O'Driscoll. He toured with the 2005 British and Irish Lions to New Zealand, where he was one of only two Lions players to play every minute of all three Test matches, bar the 10 minutes he spent in the sin-bin. After a period of absence due to injury in the early part of the 2005-06 season, O'Connell returned to the Munster side to play an integral part in his side's march to its first Heineken Cup final since 2002, and also helped Ireland win the Triple Crown captaining the sides which played France & Scotland. Indeed, such was the quality and stature of O'Connell's play, that, as the season drew to a close, many respected judges were talking of him as the world's finest current lock forward/Second row.

In November 2006 he was among five shortlisted for the International Rugby Board player of the year and the only northern hemisphere nominee. The other four nominees were last year's winner New Zealand fly half / out half Dan Carter, fellow All Black openside flanker Richie McCaw, Australian fullback Chris Latham and South African scrum half Fourie du Preez. McCaw was the eventual winner. [cite news
publisher=IRB.com
url=http://www.irb.com/EN/Tournaments+and+Events/IRB+Awards/awards+release.htm
title=McCaw named IRB Player of the Year
date=26 Nov 2006
accessdate=2006-12-01
]

O'Connell was a star swimmer when he was younger, starting his training with Seal Swimming club under the watchful guidance of Jim Riordan and Jerry Ryan before moving on to the Limerick squad. O'Connell attended Ardscoil Ris in Limerick and played rugby under Des Harty's tutelage, representing Irish Schools in 1997-98. He also represented Young Munster R.F.C. before moving on to represent Munster, Ireland and the Lions. He recently scored the last ever international try at the Old Lansdowne Road, which is being demolished and rebuilt.

More recently, O'Connell again took over from an injured O'Driscoll as Ireland captain in their historic match against nrut|France in the 2007 Six Nations, the first rugby match ever at Croke Park. O'Connell was awarded the Man of the Match accolade following Ireland's historic (and record breaking) 43-13 win over England at Croke Park during the Six Nations Championship. He also captained Munster to victory in the 2007-08 Heineken Cup.

References

External links

* [http://www.irishrugby.ie/226_153.php IRFU profile]
* [http://www.munsterrugby.ie/provincialplayerpage/20056.html Munster profile]
* [http://www.lionstour.com/forwards-34.htm British and Irish Lions profile]
* [http://www.rbs6nations.com/squad_ireland_193980.htm RBS 6 Nations profile]
* [http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/36_4571.php?player=503 ERC profile]


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