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Celtic starlet O'Connell: I look up to my rugby hero, Everton-supporting cousin Paul

Celtic youngster Eoghan O'Connell says he seeks advice from his star cousin Paul whenever possible.

The 18-year old Irish defender, who made his Hoops debut in the weekend's draw with Ross County, is the younger cousin of rugby superstar Paul O'Connell of Ireland and British and Irish Lions fame.

Cork-born O'Connell admits it is hard to find time to watch the 34-year old in action with the oval ball but uses him as a source of motivation as he continues to make his way through the Celtic academy and into the first team.

"Paul is one of the legends of rugby so I'd be silly not to look up to him. He's an amazing player and if I have half the success he's had then great," he told the Daily Record after his Scottish Premiership bow.

"I speak with him whenever I get the chance. He came to play in Glasgow last year and I went to watch him.

"I saw the games when I was a kid but I'm a footballer now so I don't get many chances. But if I'm home and they are playing I'll go and watch.

"I haven't had a chance to look at my phone so I don't know if Paul has been on but I'm sure he will send me a text.

"Hopefully he'll be able to fit me into his busy schedule and come and watch a Celtic game."

Paul offered that he had never even been to a Celtic match - as he is an Everton fan - but will endeavour to get to Parkhead to watch Eoghan whenever the opportunity arises.

"I'm delighted to see Eoghan develop his career at Celtic. We're hoping he makes it through because I'll be retiring in about two years and I'll be able to get over to Glasgow and Parkhead every second weekend to watch him," said the Munster ace.

"I'm not a Celtic fan and I've never been to a game. I'm actually an Everton supporter but whenever we play the Warriors in Glasgow, Eoghan always comes over to watch our games and I meet up with him."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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