O'Connell pens new Munster deal
January 20, 2014
O'Connell looks set to see out his playing career at Munster © Getty Images
The IRFU and Munster have confirmed that Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has signed a two-year contract extension.
O'Connell's new deal will see him remain at Munster until at least June 2016, and should mean the veteran of three British & Irish Lions tours sees out his career at the club. The 34-year-old made his Munster debut in August 2001 and has since made 154 appearances for the club, on top of winning 88 caps for Ireland.
"I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing with Munster for the next two seasons," O'Connell said on Munster's official website.
"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."
O'Connell captained Munster to Heineken Cup success in 2008 and two RaboDirect PRO12 titles, and was part of the Ireland side which won the Grand Slam in 2009. Ireland CEO Phillip Browne admitted the news was a huge boost to the national team ahead of the Six Nations.
"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," said IRFU CEO, Philip Browne.
"We are delighted that the Irish captain has committed his future to Munster and Ireland for the next two years."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.