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Ireland captain Paul O'Connell announces retirement plans

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell is to retire from international rugby after the Rugby World Cup.

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has confirmed that he will retire from international rugby after the Rugby World Cup.

The 35-year-old lock will also leave club side Munster this summer.

O'Connell has made 101 appearances for his country since 2002, winning three Six Nations titles during that time.

His career with Munster has been just as successful, with two European crowns and three league championships won over a 14-year period.

"I would like to thank Munster Rugby and the IRFU for releasing me from my contract at the end of the Rugby World Cup," O'Connell said in a statement. "I have been hugely fortunate to play with one of the greatest sporting organisations in the world and as a proud Limerick, Munster and Irishman, I will forever treasure my association with Munster Rugby.

"After the World Cup I would like to experience new environments, and it is my genuine hope and ambition that I will have some future involvement with Munster and Irish Rugby."

O'Connell has been linked with a move to French side Toulon.


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Ireland captain Paul O'Connell lifts the trophy after the RBS Six Nations match against Scotland at Murrayfield Stadium on March 21, 2015
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