Paul O'Connell's 7 greatest moments in an Ireland jersey
Paul O'Connell's Ireland career is over.
Although we grieve for what will no longer be, we should also appreciate what was.
At his best, O'Connell was a player who struck fear into the opposition and inspired his team mates to do the same. As every rugby fan knows, Paulie never gave less than his best.
Here's a few of the moments we will never forget. Thank you Paulie.
Picture this: you're starting for Ireland in the Six Nations against Wales. This is the game you've been waiting your whole life to play. Then, after fourteen minutes Craig Quinnell, a veteran lock knocks you unconscious with his elbow.
Most people would fade away into the background of the game, if they even had the will to go on. Not O'Connell. Ten minutes later he was crossing the whitewash for a debut-day try.
A legend from the very start.
Clip via MottiRugby
Captaining Ireland for the first time
O'Connell stood in as Ireland's captain in the absence of Brian O'Driscoll when the side travelled to Paris on Valentine's Day 2004. Although the game didn't go how we would have would have wanted, O'Connell inspired the Irish to not give up despite giving away an early lead.
His first triple crown
The big man from Limerick was unstoppable in 2004 as Ireland trounced Scotland to win their first Triple Crown since 1985. We still get goosebumps looking back at this incredible day.
Clip via Conor Ryan
Last ever try at Lansdowne Road
An iconic stadium saying goodbye with a try from a truly iconic player. We're not sure that we could have asked for a better send off for the stadium than a Paul O'Connell try. The Pacific Islands were our opposition that day.
Clip via MottiRugby
Leading Ireland out against England in Croker
This was one of the most important days in Irish sporting history. In what is traditionally the home of GAA, O'Connell gave a performance that Pat Hartigan and other Limerick greats would have been proud of.
Clip via enjoyvideoclips
The Grand Slam win
2009 was the year when all of Ireland's hard work paid off. O'Connell thought the Grand Slam was gone, but fortunately Jones' kick didn't have the legs and ROG's manky drop-goal did the trick.
Clip via markcaver1
Six Nations win and that game against France
It was a game where leaders were needed. Paulie never shirks from such responsibility and his power, poise and desire helped get us over the line.
Clip via RBS 6 Nations
That's just seven of the amazing moments he's given Irish fans. There are many more.
Thanks Paulie, you'll be missed.
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