Ireland captain Paul O'Connell reflects on his career to date

Paul O’Connell will win his 100th cap for Ireland on Saturday when he leads the side out to face Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

O’Connell’s team are on course for a Grand Slam – it would be only the third in Ireland’s history – but Wales know if they triumph in Cardiff they will be in with a chance of winning the 2015 Six Nations title, so the pressure is sure to be intense. If the Irish need any extra motivation, however, marking their captain’s milestone with a victory should do the trick.

O’Connell wasn’t always destined for a rugby career, though. Swimming was the first sport he took seriously, which meant lots of early-morning training sessions. This video looks back at his switch from the pool to the pitch, with contributions from the Ireland lock’s father Michael as well as team-mates Ronan O’Gara and Johnny Sexton.

“I’ve never struggled for motivation,” said O’Connell. “100 caps have flown by; I wish I had 100 more in me! Some of the best days of my life have been in green, and I’m immensely proud to reach this milestone and am looking forward to creating even more memories with this team. When it’s over, I’m sure I’ll allow myself some time for reflection and this documentary will help me do that.”

Former Munster and Ireland fly-half O’Gara added: “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 the ability to deliver the right message (to the squad) at the right time.”

This video is part of Three’s #AllitTakes campaign and the other episodes focus on Robbie Henshaw and Johnny Sexton.

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