Former professional Irish rugby player Paul O'Connell has spoken about what he misses the most about the game and what he's searching for now, professionally.

Ahead of taking to the stage at the Pendulum Summit in Dublin's Convention Centre on Thursday January 11, 2018 to take about leadership and resilience on and off the field, Paul spoke to us about hanging up his boots.

O’Connell agrees that ‘Professional sports people die twice’

"It isn't easy retiring from professional rugby," adding, "I was listening to Padraic Harrington talking...about professional sports people when they retire: 'Professional sports people die twice, once when they retire and once when they die.'

"It certainly is a challenge and the challenge is finding, and I'll be talking about that later on [at the Pendulum Summit], is finding the purpose."

"I don't miss rugby or the training even though I really enjoyed it what I miss is a purpose."

The importance of reinvention
"Having a purpose every single day from the moment you wake up as a professional rugby player you've to eat right, you've to get into training early, you've video analysis to do, you've training to do, you've recovery, you've meetings.

"The day might finish at 5pm but it doesn't really. You now have to eat right, you've to plan your food for the next day, you've to get to bed on time.

"There's a whole number of things and its 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. 

"So when you finish [playing professional sport], that's what I miss, that purpose."

Take your time
O'Connell also advises though to take your time before rushing into the next chapter: "The thing is not to be in a massive rush to find that purpose again but you certainly do need to find it."

"A purpose, something at the back of your mind the whole time that you need to be getting better at, improving at and talking to people about, that you want to figure out the next step to improve on and that's what I miss most about the game and thats what I'm searching for in the afterlife of the game."

Taragh Loughrey-Grant & Sínann Fetherston