Much like the tributes paid by his opponents, the words of Paul O'Connell's teammates - past and present - are testament to the man's greatness.
Ronan O'Gara says that no matter how sad he is to see the end of O'Connell's career, he can't ignore the feeling of pride to have played alongside him for so long.
Brian O'Driscoll, Denis Hickie and players within the current squad have all paid tribute.
My sadness is tinged with absolute pride having spent 16 years with one of Rugby's greatest competitors. #gentleman#Leader#1ofakind
— Ronan O Gara (@RonanOGara10) October 13, 2015
This is so wrong on many levels. One of the greatest leaders & players of them all. Inspirational. https://t.co/8blR5e2tJp — Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) October 13, 2015
It's the end of an era... If you want a measure of how good a player he is and what he achieved. He made his debut in 2002 and in 2015, after a gap of 13 years, he was voted the player of the championship in the Six Nations. There's not many guys who have a career of that longevity and there's not many guys who, in their last year, are voted player of the tournament in the Six Nations. That just shows you what a great player he was.
One of the most inspirational players I’ve played with and one of the most difficult players I’ve played against because he is just non-stop. He is all action, he gives one hundred percent.
The first time I met Paulie he was so welcoming to me as one of the youngest players in the squad. Took me under his wing. He would give advice but he wasn’t too intense. He would always switch off and have a bit of craic with you around the dinner table. So I always loved that side of him; that he wasn’t all intense, all work.
It’s a massive loss to lose Paulie and Pete, a vice captain as well, so while relieved the weekend went well but it is very, very sad to lose Paulie in that manner after what he has given to this country and having played for so many years. To not have him not coming out with him at the weekend is tough for him but gutting for all of us.
Coming into the squad a couple of years ago and seeing a guy like that, seeing what he has done, it’s amazing to have played with him. He’s such a normal bloke as well. Really a true warrior. Any time Paul has pulled on the Irish jersey he hasn’t left anything on the pitch.
Read more: 13 Opposition Quotes Which Prove The Greatness Of Paul O'Connell