Paul O' Connell was speaking about his retirement on Live 95FM in Limerick this morning, and he revealed the fan letter which changed his outlook on retirement. Among the deluge of good wishes from supporters, one letter in particular altered O'Connell's outlook on retirement:
Someone wrote me a letter and said ‘Stop saying you’re retiring, say you’re changing career’, and that’s what I’m doing.
The injury I got in the World Cup was just one injury too far for me. While I’ll be fine, I just won’t be fine for tackling 18 stone rugby players any more. I should be able to play a bit of five-a-side and golf, but it was unfortunate.
'I just won't be fine for tackling 18 stone rugby players any more' is certainly an interesting way of looking at a retirement.
O'Connell also spoke about his disappointment of missing out on his move to France, and realised he and his son had begun French lessons with an avid Toulouse supporter:
We were doing them up in Alliance Francaise up in Pery Square. We weren’t in the same class now. They were really enjoyable, he liked them and we had a great teacher up there, who was a Toulouse supporter and would wear his Toulouse hat when he came in. We’ll probably kick them off again with them , but yes, it’s unfortunate.
We hope O'Connell's son learned the French for 'hard luck on the Heineken Cup Final 2008, mate'.