O’Connell delighted to join select group of victorious Lions

Paul O'Connell has spoken of his joy at joining the elite band of series-winning British & Irish Lions after his exploits this summer in Australia. [more]

O’Connell delighted to join select group of victorious Lions

Paul O’Connell has spoken of his joy at joining the elite band of series-winning British & Irish Lions after his exploits this summer in Australia.

The Ireland lock, who captained the tourists in South Africa in 2009, played a starring role in the first Test win against Australia in Brisbane.

A broken arm sustained in that Suncorp classic ruled him out of the rest of the series but the 34-year-old stayed with the touring party.

And after witnessing the agony of Melbourne in the second Test and the ecstasy of Sydney’s decider the Lions legend admits he is delighted he will now go down in history as a victorious Lion.

“I did get the full enjoyment out of it,’ he said. “To be ruled out after the first Test was very disappointing, but it was a great experience.

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“At times, I regretted staying on because everyone is in the bubble and you are outside it to a certain extent, but once we won, to be in the dressing room with so many of the guys I had toured with in ’09 was very special.

‘When you are at international games and you meet ex-internationals at the post-match functions or whatever, the guys who have won Lions tours are different from everyone else; they are a little bit apart from everyone else. So it’s great to be able to join that band.” 

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