The 36-year-old's career finished in injury at the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Paul O'Connell has said he was proud of how his rugby career ended, despite being stretchered off last year with a World Cup game against France.
The former Ireland captain tore his hamstring in the Cardiff win. It was to be the last time he played rugby competitively, such was the severity of the injury. Depsite signing for Top14 side Toulon, O'Connell never played for the team.
Speaking on Friday night's Late Late Show, the 36-year-old admitted in hindsight, he had no issues with his final moments on the rugby pitch.
"I'm perfectly healthy now. I think part of that injury against France [in the 2015 World Cup], while disappointing, I was very lucky I didn't go and play 18 months in Toulon. It would have been a great experience, but getting out when I did, means I got out really, really healthy after 14 years as a professional."
"It's very hard to get the fairytale ending, but playing for your country and captaining your country when you beat France by a record score, isn't a bad way to go out. All my greatest heroes growing up were people who played for Ireland. It didn't matter what sport. Anyone who represented Ireland on the World stage were our heroes. For me to go playing for Ireland, captaining Ireland, in my last game - there were worse ways to go out."
The former second-row, who also captained Munster and the Lions, added that his career lasted longer than expected. After the 2010 Six Nations, O'Connell failed to play for Ireland again that year.
"When I was around 29 or 30, I was struggling a little bit [with injury]. To get to 35, and to have had two championships in the previous two years was amazing."