Rugby: Ireland captain O'Connell out of World Cup, retires from international play

Ireland rugby captain Paul O'Connell getting stretchered off the field after getting injured in the Rugby World Cup match against France in Cardiff, Wales, on Oct 11, 2015.
Ireland rugby captain Paul O'Connell getting stretchered off the field after getting injured in the Rugby World Cup match against France in Cardiff, Wales, on Oct 11, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

CARDIFF, Wales (AFP) - Ireland captain Paul O'Connell pulled out of the Rugby World Cup and ended his international career on Tuesday because of a hamstring injury suffered against France.

"Paul O'Connell suffered a significant hamstring injury and will undergo surgery this week. Paul will not play again at Rugby World Cup 2015 and his time out of the game will depend on the outcome of the surgery," said an Irish statement.

Mike McCarthy has been called up to the Ireland squad to take the lock's place and was to arrive in Cardiff on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old O'Connell, hurt during Ireland's 24-9 win over France in their final Pool D game on Sunday, was due to join Toulon after the World Cup. Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has said he expects O'Connell to be out for at least three months.

Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony has already been ruled out after suffering knee ligament damage in the brutal victory over France. Doubts persist over star fly-half Jonny Sexton as Pool D winners Ireland count down to a quarter-final against Pool C runners-up Argentina on Sunday.