Paul O’Connell rumours stoked by Toulon president Boudjellal

Despite remarks, Munster star most to likely see out his career in Ireland

Paul O’Connell: Toulon’s owner Mourad Boudjellal linked him  with the French club. Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan.

Paul O’Connell: Toulon’s owner Mourad Boudjellal linked him with the French club. Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan.

 
Mourad Boudjellal

president of Toulon, has stoked the rumours linking Paul O’Connell with the three-in-a-row European champions by hinting the Irish captain could be with the club next season.

Boudjellal was interviewed by the Paris-based radio station RMC yesterday and when asked if O’Connell and Duane Vermeulen would be playing with Toulon next year he said: “L’un des deux sera Toulonnais.” (One of the two will be at Toulon.)

He was possibly being mischievous, and of course his comment could also mean they are merely signing Vermeulen, the Stormers and Springbok number eight, with whom they have been more strongly linked.

Nonetheless, Boudjellal’s comment is somewhat removed from the club statement denying any interest in O’Connell, issued the week before last. (They made similar denials before signing Jonny Wilkinson, Drew Mitchell and others.)

Second Captains

Major figure

The Irish TimesBakkies BothaAli Williams

As was also reported at the time, O’Connell had had no contact with any potential French suitors, and with a year remaining on his existing contact, it was highly unlikely he would relocate to Toulon.

O’Connell himself remains undecided about whether to continue playing after the World Cup later this year or see out his current contract, but maintained he had had no contact with Toulon.

“I’m probably about 90 per cent sure what I’m going to do, but the other 10 per cent is probably holding me back from saying for sure what I am going to do yet in the media.”

Nonetheless, as Ronan O’Gara has stated, when Toulon identify a prospective target, they tend to get their man, and there must be a possibility that Boudjellal could buy out the last seven months or so of O’Connell’s contract.

Nonetheless, despite Boudjellal’s remark, it remains highly likely O’Connell will see out his career in Ireland.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.