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Paul's pain Rugby star Paul O'Connell says career-ending injury ultimately saved his body

The former Ireland captain ripped his hamstring from the bone during Ireland’s Pool D victory over France in Cardiff, in 2015.

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Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell

IRELAND rugby legend Paul O’Connell has described his horrific career-ending injury, as a "blessing in disguise". 

The former Ireland captain ripped his hamstring from the bone during Ireland’s Pool D victory over France in Cardiff, in 2015.

The brutal injury forced him to retire from the sport, just months before he was due to complete a big money move to French giants Toulon, in the south of France.

But five years on from that brutal incident, O’Connell believes the injury was a blessing in disguise.

“That injury was a pretty bad one and it finished me playing,” he told Mairead Ronan’s lunchtime show.

“I would have played for another 18 months in France but I am not sure was the body ready for it.

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Irealnd's Paul O'Connell wins possession in a lineout against England's

Irealnd's Paul O'Connell wins possession in a lineout against England's

Irealnd's Paul O'Connell wins possession in a lineout against England's

“And I am not sure how well I would have been looked after in comparison to how well the IRFU look after players.

“It was a blessing in disguise and we had great plans and a beautiful place in Toulon, which was on the coast.

“So, we had great plans and it didn’t happen.

“But I think, from a physical point of view, it was probably the best thing that happened to me because I am very lucky now.

“I have very few residual injuries from rugby or niggles like that.

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“The body is in great shape and I don’t know would I be saying that had I gone down to France and played for two more years.”

The former Lion’s and Munster second row was on air to announce the winners of the Aldi €200,000 primary school sticker competition.

Out of 1,093 entries received from primary schools across the country Tara Hill National School, Gorey, Co. Wexford and Scoil Naomh Bríd, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow won €50,000 each to help upgrade their school’s sports facilities.

While 10 runner up primary schools have won €10,000 each to be spent on sports equipment or facilities.

And Paul said that the whole point of the competition was to bring rugby to children who maybe wouldn't have experienced it before.

“I have been part of this promotion for the past two years now and it is great to see the winners.

“This year has presented huge challenges for parents, teachers and students alike and it is highlighted I think the importance of sport for our well-being irrespective of our age.

“Congratulations to all the schools that took part and I am sure the €50,000 will be well spent by the schools management to help with the development of their school’s sports facilities.

"And hopefully bring the game to kids who might not have played it normally in a non contact environment."

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