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O’Connell Grilled By Supporters

O’Connell Grilled By Supporters

O2 ran a competition recently to win a signed Ireland jersey. To win, supporters had to ask Paul O’Connell a question. The big second row answered his favourite seven questions, and the final one he answered was the winner. Here are the questions and some very funny answers. Enjoy!

1. Rory MacCarthy: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

POC: I suppose first and foremost the big thing i would be telling myself is not to be afraid to make mistakes. Looking back now, there are a load of things i would have told myself not to do but then you miss out on the experience and knowledge that comes with making mistakes.

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I think teams and people that have been anyway successful have had plenty of setbacks but keep coming back from them better and wiser. I would love to have the final kick-off after we went four points ahead against France in 2007 at Croke Park again. I stayed back a little too deep on a kick-off they couldn’t afford to kick long as they needed the ball back straight away.

I should have moved myself a little closer to the ten-metre line. It is burnt into my mind now that how you plan to set up for kick-offs before the game changes as the game does. Tough lesson to learn, but lesson learnt none the less!

2. Kiara O’Carroll: If somebody handed you a magic lamp and gave you three wishes, what would they be?

POC: Apart from world peace and an end to poverty, I would go with winning the EuroMillions lottery (preferably about 150,000,000), winning the Rugby World Cup and winning a Lions tour.

3. Rory Quinn: What do you want to be when you grow up? Or put another way – looking beyond your continuing career as a first class professional rugby player, what does the future hold for Paul O’Connell?

POC: I find myself being asked this question more and more as i now have turned 30. The honest answer is I don’t exactly know.

I would like to run and own my own business in the future. I have a number of ideas at the moment which may or may not pan out. Coaching is something i am very interested in as well but, at times, I just fear it would be even harder than playing.

The one and only thing I look forward to when I retire is being able to relax at weekends. Not playing a game over and over in my head all week. With coaching I’d imagine this multiplies.

However, when I have coached I have really enjoyed it. I really enjoy being part of the decision-making with Munster and Ireland, so it is something that closer to retirement may interest me more.

4. Aoife Keegan: Hi Paul! You have heard many amazing motivational speeches over the years. A personal favourite of mine is the speech Willie John McBride gave to the Lions last year in South Africa. What motivational speech sticks out in your memory and why?

POC: I used to love listening to Mick Galwey and Anthony Foley before games. Nothing would have been rehearsed but on the big days their lower lips would start quivering, you’d see how much it meant to them and then they really wouldn’t have to say much more.

5. Kieran Mansfield: Hey Paul, what was going through your head when Stephen Jones stepped up to take the penalty kick in the last kick of the match against Wales in the 2009 Six Nations?

POC: I thought we had lost the game. I, for some reason, became really negative and thought it would definitely go over. He had kicked one from the same range in the first half so I really thought it was gonna go over. I didn’t take fatigue into account and even though he kicked it quite well, it didn’t have the legs.

6. James O’Sullivan: Paul, did you finish watching ‘The Wire’? If so, what would take to a desert island now!?

POC: Finished ‘The Wire’, thank God. It was beginning to take over my life. I was gonna say I’d take my baby boy Paddy but I don’t think he’d be able to hack it, so I’ll go with some sun cream. Factor 187.

7. Tara Moran (Winner): Donncha O’Callaghan got his shorts ripped off during a game…what is the most embarrassing thing to happen you on the pitch?

POC: I once did a fitness test where I forgot my cycling shorts and had to wear my boxer shorts underneath. It was in a university and a lot of people ended up watching.

The boxers didn’t really do the job I needed them to, so I had to do most of the test constantly readjusting the boxers to avoid embarrassment! I performed poorly and didn’t make the IRFU academy that year. I always blame that fitness test!