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Rugby World Cup: Paul O'Connell had Irish players in tears with speech before France victory

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Ireland's Paul O'Connell. (David Davies/PA Wire)

Ireland's Paul O'Connell. (David Davies/PA Wire)

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Ireland's Paul O'Connell during the World Cup match at the Olympic Stadium, London. (David Davies/PA Wire)

Ireland's Paul O'Connell during the World Cup match at the Olympic Stadium, London. (David Davies/PA Wire)

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Ireland's Paul O'Connell. (David Davies/PA Wire)

The storied international career of Ireland captain, Paul O'Connell, is set to close today after he suffered a hamstring injury in historic win over France.

Flanker Chris Henry has revealed how the skipper reduced the squad to tears before taking to the field at the Millennium Stadium with an impassioned speech.

With the Toulon-bound Munster legend's words ringing in their ears, Ireland produced a sensational performance to beat the French 24-9 to top Pool D and set up a quarter- final against Argentina at the same venue next Sunday.

"Paul spoke incredibly well in the changing room," Henry, who replaced O'Mahony early in the second-half, explained.

"He basically had everyone in tears before the match, so it's a brilliant day to be involved in it, and to top the group is an incredible feeling.

"We talked about being clinical and taking our chances, all these buzz words but today, definitely, we knew it was going to take more from us and go deeper. The words he provided definitely got the best out of everyone."

Ruaidhri O'Connor - Irish Independent

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