"In so many ways he was like Roy Keane" - Alan Quinlan's tribute to Paul O'Connell

Former Munster and Ireland back-row talks about his ex-colleague's drive

Alan Quinlan, Paul O'Connell, MUnster

Alan Quinlan and Paul O'Connell ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Alan Quinlan has described Paul O'Connell as Irish rugby's answer to Roy Keane.

Eulogising about his former Ireland and Munster team-mate in his Irish Independent column, the ex-back-row shared memories of the drive and passion which set the now retired O'Connell apart.

"He was a brilliant team-mate - and not just because he was there to look out for you. He'd set the tone. If training wasn't good, he didn't shy from telling you or anyone that we had to sort ourselves out. Some of his comments could cut to the bone," wrote Quinlan.

"Often he called myself and Ronan O'Gara a pair of grumpy f**kers. In reply, we christened him Psycho. And the nickname stuck. Until one day someone called him Keano and that seemed a better fit.

"And in so many ways he was like Roy Keane. Driven. Passionate. A leader."