The thinking behind Paul O'Connell addressing Team Europe last night

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Irish rugby union legend Paul O'Connell wowed team Team Europe last night as Darren Clarke's troops prepare for battle.

O'Connell retired from rugby on medical advice in February after a glittering career which saw him captain Munster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions.

European captain Clarke believed the talk would be "seriously inspirational" for his team.

“There's no finer an example of shoulder to shoulder than Paul O'Connell,” said Clarke.

“Well, part of my whole thought process for this week is shoulder to shoulder, one team, one unit, and as you know, shoulder to shoulder with the rugby background that I have, as well, it resonated with me.

“It was something that I pursued through my captaincy.

“He has legendary status both at home and in terms of leading the British Lions who obviously always play away from home.

“So with us being away from home, he was my option and choice to come and address the team this evening.

“ I'm very excited to hear what he has to say and the way that he's going to put his thoughts across.”

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson addressed Europe's team ahead of the 2014 contest at Gleneagles.