Irish legend Ronan O'Gara set to call it quits
SHANE DE BARRA
Ireland’s most capped rugby player Ronan O’Gara is to call time on his glittering rugby career after winning 128 test caps for his country.
It has been reported in the Irish Independent newspaper that O’Gara, 36, will not take up the option of an extra year on his contract with Irish powerhouses Munster, instead deciding to hang up his boots on a high after a stellar performance in his club’s narrow defeat to Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup semi-finals last weekend.
O’Gara – never the flashiest of out-halves – was regarded by many as the game’s best positional kicker and it was this quality that formed that backbone of much of Munster’s former domination of European club rugby as well as Ireland’s Six Nations and Triple crown successes.
He toured with the British and Irish Lions on three occasions, including to New Zealand in 2005, winning two test caps – one against the All Blacks, the other against South Africa.
However, he will probably be most remembered for landing the drop goal in 2009 that brought Ireland its first Six Nations Grand Slam in 61 years.
With Kiwi Joe Schmidt expected to be announced as the new Ireland coach this week it was thought O’Gara might play on for an extra year to see if he could be of service to the former Bay of Plenty and Blues assistant coach.
Tears at the end of Munster’s defeat in France last weekend and sources in Ireland, however, suggest otherwise.
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