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Every morning, FRANCE 24 speaks to a key business, social or cultural player, or a leading voice in the field of humanitarian action, sport or science. From Monday to Friday at 8.40 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2018-11-01

Former Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell on coaching the French

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.

By Eve IRVINE

Archives

2018-11-19 Perspective

'830,000 people are dying every year because of unsafe sanitation'

According to the UN, around 60% of the global population either have no toilet at home or don't have one that keeps water clean and disease-free. In some areas, even hospitals...

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2018-11-16 Perspective

Concerts Without Borders: Making classical music accessible

For decades, classical music has been seen as too highbrow; a genre that appeals more to the slipper-wearing generation than to hip young people. Bonnie Brown and Michelle Wood...

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2018-11-15 Perspective

'Photography is part of our daily lives and we want to reflect that'

Tucked away in Paris's Marais neighbourhood is a little gem dedicated to photography. La Maison Européenne de la Photographie has been drawing in crowds since it first opened its...

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2018-11-14 Perspective

Men's health in 'Movember': Raising awareness of male wellbeing

"Check your equipment regularly". That's the message from a worldwide campaign, also followed here in France, to encourage men to do more to look after their bodies. "Movember"...

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2018-11-13 Perspective

Nov 13 Paris terror attacks: 'Islam is part of the solution'

On the third anniversary of the Paris attacks that killed 130 people, FRANCE 24 spoke to Asif Arif -- the co-author of a book about terrorist links between France and Belgium --...

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