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Six Nations hero Paul O'Connell urged to stay on for Ireland

By Nick Purewal

Ireland bosses will battle to convince captain Paul O'Connell to delay his retirement and commit to another year of Test rugby, according to Robbie Henshaw.

The talismanic O'Connell drove Ireland to retain their RBS 6 Nations title on an astonishing final day, claiming the first try in his side's 40-10 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

Ireland sneaked to the title on points difference, after England failed to produce a 26-point victory over France, retaining the trophy for the first time since 1949.

The evergreen lock O'Connell is weighing up retiring from Test rugby after the autumn World Cup, which would leave securing back-to-back titles as his Six Nations swansong.

Connacht centre Henshaw hailed O'Connell as the "ultimate leader", and then tipped the 35-year-old to come under pressure to sign up for one more year of Test action.

"He led and everyone else followed," said Henshaw of O'Connell.

"He's just an unbelievable leader.

"I think the charisma oozes out of him, he's an unbelievable player, and to be doing what he's doing at the back-end of his career is unreal.

"I think he's just an inspirational guy.

"I would say that people will try to convince him into another year, yeah. I can imagine next year he'd be asked to stay on."

Belfast Telegraph


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