Former Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell moved to France a few months ago to work with Stade Français as a line out coach. Capped 108 times for his national team and seven times for the British and Irish Lions, he tells us what it's like working with the French as a coach and what it's really like to be a player.
Asked if he might give any Irish secrets away, O’Connell says: "I don’t think there are any secrets... I think Irish teams, because we are generally smaller, we feel we have to be a little bit fitter than the opposition and a little bit smarter... And I think over the last few years they’ve proven that."
When it comes to the mental stress the game can present, the internationally renowned lock says he sometimes made the game more important than it was. "I definitely put too much pressure on myself", he admits. "On the Friday before big games, very often I'd almost be happy to get on a plane and leave the country rather than face the game I was about to play. But towards the end I was very much on top of that."
Paul O’Connell is a line out coach for Stade Français in Paris.