PICS: Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan invited back for Munster's Christmas party 5 years ago

PICS: Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan invited back for Munster's Christmas party

It is still strange to watch Munster without these two lads getting stuck in for the cause.

Between them, Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan lined out 438 times for their home province, won three league titles and two Heineken Cups.

O'Connell was the first to announce his departure, to Toulon, after last season's Guinness PRO12 final defeat. O'Callaghan was not far behind; moving to Worcester Warriors for 2015/16.

Both players managed to get along for a Sunday night Christmas bash with their old teammates. They got the natty Xmas jumper memo too, by the looks of it.

Munster presentation

As captain, CJ Stander said a few words of thanks, on behalf of the squad, will Keith Earls also grabbed the microphone for an ode to the second rows.

Perhaps the warmest words of all were uttered by Mick O'Driscoll, who is now assistant coach at Munster but was a long-time teammate of the pair. He joked about his years as back-up to one of Ireland's most successful second row pairings.

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O'Connell and O'Callaghan were presented with some Waterford Crystal to officially mark their achievements with the province.

While the squad were out, they bumped into some of the victorious Clonmel Commercial side who had defeated Nemo Rangers in the Munster Senior Football Club Championship final earlier that day.

The opportunity also arose for a 100-cap ceremony. Commemorative caps were presented to Earls, Tommy O'Donnell and Ian Keatley.

Munster 100 caps

Munster play Dragons away, on Sunday, and head coach Anthony Foley has named a team with one eye on Leicester Tigers and one eye on the future.