"He is seriously inspirational" - Darren Clarke on Paul O'Connell's Ryder Cup role

The Munster legend spoke to the team on Tuesday night

BY Daniel Kelly 08:54 Wednesday 28 September 2016, 8:54 28 Sep 2016

Picture by: Peter Byrne / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Paul O'Connell seems to be enjoying the life of a retired player.

The former Munster, Ireland and Lions captain is in Hazeltine at the Ryder Cup and gave a motivational speech to the European team on Tuesday night. Before that though, he took to the course in Minnesota, playing in the celebrity matches with One Direction's Niall Horan.

European captain Darren Clarke was asked why O'Connell was picked to speak to the team, and he claimed the Limerick native was the ideal man to channel the "shoulder to shoulder" spirit that he was trying to ingrain in the team.

"There's no finer an example of shoulder to shoulder than Paul O'Connell. He has legendary status both at home and in terms of leading the British Lions who obviously always play away from home. So with us being away from home, he was my option and choice to come and address the team this evening. I'm very excited to hear what he has to say and the way that he's going to put his thoughts across."

"From everybody that I've spoken to who have heard Paul address teams, he is seriously inspirational. So I feel very fortunate and privileged that he's there to join us."

Five of Europe's 12-man team come from non-traditional rugby-playing nations, and Clarke joked that wouldn't be an issue, when asked if the team had heard of O'Connell.

"Yes, they have, because they have been made aware of a few things. I'm not that foolish."

Let's hope O'Connell will be able to help the team put the fear of good into the Americans this weekend.

 

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