O’Connell set to miss all of first season with Toulon in Top 14

Paul O'Connell looks set to miss the first year of rugby with Toulon

Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell could miss the whole of his first Top 14 Rugby season with his new club Toulon after suffering a severe injury at the Rugby World Cup.

O’Connell tore his hamstring in Ireland’s final Pool match against France and missed the quarter final loss to Argentina.

The thirty-six-year-old former British and Irish Lions captain was expected to join Toulon after the world cup but he now faces a lengthy rehab period.

“It’s very approximate. But it could be four, it could be eight months. You just don’t know,” O’Connell told the BBC.

“I’m just going to follow the protocols religiously. Hopefully that can get me back before the end of the season.”

France’s Top 14 Rugby season runs until early in June next year and then the play offs follow in the middle of the month.

O’Connell said that the pain of his hamstring tearing was the “worst I’ve experienced as a professional”.

“I need to be on my back for six weeks as I recover to ensure I don’t do any damage after the surgery,” he added.

“I was operated on on the Thursday and I’ve just been on the flat of my back since.”

Ireland were elminated from the Rugby World Cup by Argentina after being hit heavily by injury as they played the quarter final without O’Connell, Johnny Sexton, Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and Jared Payne.

O’Connell had already said that he would retire internationally after the World Cup but had planned to extend his club career by moving from Munster to Toulon on a two-year deal.

O’Connell said his rehabilitation from the injury would be the “biggest challenge of my career”.

“I’ve only left the house four times since getting home from the World Cup in order to get maximum rest and relaxation for the injury.”

O’Connell had planned to move his family over to France in December but that will now most likely be postpo

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