Paul O'Connell has ruled out a return to Munster in a coaching capacity in "the short-term future", and said he needs to garner more experience before even considering a reunion with the province.

The 39-year-old Limerick man is preparing to bid adieu to Paris after deciding not to take up an option of extending his contract with Stade Francais. 

He moved to France as a lineout coach for the Top 14 side in August, and works alongside head coach Heyneke Meyer and former Munster team-mate Mike Prendergast. 

It was announced last month that the former Ireland captain would not stay on in the French capital. 

That led to speculation he might make a romantic return to Munster, where he was such a totemic and inspirational figure for years as a player.

However, speaking to RTÉ, O'Connell crushed such talk.  

"The coaches that are there are doing a fantastic job and I'm sure they'll remain there," he said on Friday.

"It's really enjoyable now to come back and go to a game with my family. I think you'd have to be very, very sure before you ever went back there or if they ever wanted you to go back there.

"For me I'd have to gather a lot more experience to have the confidence to do the job well. I won't be back there in the short-term future anyway."

O'Connell leaves France with positive memories, though he did admit the rugby culture was difficult to get used to.

"I think they do some things very, very differently there to the way I would like to do them so I’ve decided to move on," he said.

"It’s been a fantastic year for me and the family

"I suppose you learn how lucky we are in Irish rugby: the structure, the way it’s run is far better suited to the long-term development of the player.

"It’s very competitive from a business point of view in France. It’s very hard to think long term there.

"I’ve really enjoyed my time there; I had a great relationship with the club.

"My little boy plays for Stade Francais as well so he’s a Stade fan for a long time to come.

"It has been a great year but there are a few differences in how we’d like to do things and that’s no big deal."

Meanwhile, Ronan O'Gara, a contemporary of O'Connell with club and country, says the rumoured move to France to help out with their World Cup bid is "off the table". 

Writing in his Irish Examiner column, the Crusaders coach said: "I had conversations with senior people in the [French Union] and I was interested in a detailed proposition, but the conversation never got to that point, to the bit where a specific role, working with specific people was on the table. 

"I've heard no more in recent weeks, so I can assume it's off the table now." 

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