'An outstanding leader' O'Connell joins 100 club
TRIBUTES have been paid to Irish captain Paul O'Connell as he prepares to reach a century of test appearances for his country.
The Munster giant, who has picked up some of the most prestigious domestic and international honours in the game, will lead Ireland out this weekend against Wales in Cardiff for his 100th cap.
Ireland are on course for a second successive Six Nations title and a potential Grand Slam championship. The second-row has been instrumental in Ireland's success in recent years and his team-mates, past and present acknowledged his importance.
In a short documentary compiled by Ireland sponsors Three, Irish playmaker Johnny Sexton describes his captain as "an outstanding leader".
"When he speaks to the squad, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. I don't know if he knows how important he is, and (how important) his words are," Sexton explained.
Former Irish out half Ronan O'Gara also praises the man he played with for club and country.
"I played my whole career with Paul and I've seen what one person can bring to an organisation, He's very special in terms of ability," O'Gara said.