O'Connell set to retire from Ireland - Ruck

O’Connell set to retire from Ireland

Paul O’Connell admits his international career is nearly up while Simon Zebo is among three whom limped out of Irish training this morning.

Ireland legend O’Connell confirmed he would be retiring from international rugby following this year’s World Cup ahead of his move to three-time European Champions Toulon on an 18-month contract.

And the 35-year old Lock admitted it was a decision he had been pretty confident about in his head for some time.

“I’d say for two years I have been fairly sure that I was going to retire after the World Cup. “ stated the Ireland captain.

“There were times when I felt I might go again and play for Ireland a little bit further, or Munster little bit further, but by and large it has been a done deal in my head that I would be retiring after the World Cup from both Munster and Ireland.”

O’Connell was speaking World Cup jersey launch in Galway, but earlier that day the Irish had suffered a blow as Simon Zebo limped out of the open training session.

The Munster winger, who admitted to being “tired and sore” following Ireland’s IBS Six Nations victory, appeared to hobble off the pitch in some distress before medical staff began applying ice to his injured knee.

Zebo was added to the list with Leinster’s Gordon D’Arcy (unclear) and Isaac Boss (hamstring), who were also unable to complete the session because of injuries they had sustained.

Ireland’s final 31-man World Cup squad will be named after a series of four warm-up matches, which take place in August and early September.

They take on Wales in Cardiff on 8 August before hosting Scotland a week later at the Aviva Stadium.

On 29 August, Wales come to the Aviva Stadium, with the final warm-up game taking place against England at Twickenham on 5 September.