Paul O’Connell signs two-year deal with IRFU

Ireland lock to remain with Munster until the summer of 2016

Paul O’Connell in action for Munster in their Heineken Cup victory over Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Sunday. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Paul O’Connell in action for Munster in their Heineken Cup victory over Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Sunday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Paul O’Connell became the latest Ireland international to agree a new deal with the IRFU after signing a two-year contract that will keep him at Munster until the summer of 2016 at least.

The 34-year-old secondrow made his debut for the province against Edinburgh in August 2001 and has gone on to make 154 appearances, scoring 19 tries.

The Young Munster man made his Ireland debut in the 54-10 Six Nations win over Wales in February 2002 and has won 88 caps to date. He has toured three times with the British and Irish Lions.

Commenting on the new contract Paul O’Connell said;

“I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing with Munster for the next two seasons,” said O’Connell after completing negotiations on the new deal. “Over the years I have been privileged to play in many fantastic Munster sides and as we build for the future I am excited by the prospect of playing my part in achieving success with Munster and Ireland in the coming seasons.”

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne paid tribute to O’Connell, saying: “Paul is one of Ireland’s greatest ever rugby players and his contribution to the success of Irish rugby over the past decade has been immense. We are delighted that the Irish captain has committed his future to Munster and Ireland for the next two years.”

And Munster coach Rob Penney welcomed the signing, saying: “We are delighted that Paul has signed a new IRFU contract which keeps him at Munster up to the end of the 2016 season. Paul has contributed so much to Munster rugby over the years and remains one of the best secondrows in world rugby. His experience and leadership will play a key role in the future development of this young Munster squad.”

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