Tuesday 28 March 2017

O'Gara insists he won't 'turn his back' on Ireland

Ronan O'Gara arrives home from the World Cup to be greeted by his sons JJ and Rua at Cork Airport
Ronan O'Gara arrives home from the World Cup to be greeted by his sons JJ and Rua at Cork Airport

Ronan O'Gara gave the loudest hint yet he will continue playing for Ireland when he said last night that he won't "turn my back on a great country."

In the wake of Ireland's pool victory over Australia, the veteran out-half indicated he was set to bring the curtain down on his glittering international career.

Since then, however, he has claimed his comments were misinterpreted and when he arrived home in Cork following the Irish team's exit from the World Cup, O'Gara seemed to suggest that he's ready to continue in green.

"Irish rugby has been so good to me, you don't walk away from that," he explained. "The other side of it is I'm 34 and new talent is coming through, so we'll see what happens, but you don't ever turn your back on a great country."

He also underlined the feeling of disappointment in the camp at Ireland's defeat to Wales in Wellington.

"It's disappointing, but that's the way it goes at this level," he said. "France have lost twice, Wales have lost once and Australia have lost once, yet they're still in the competition. We've lost once and we're home.

"(We had) a great bunch of lads, great camaraderie and a lot of highlights to take away from the competition."

Ireland's Donncha O'Callaghan added that the players were hugely thankful for the support they had.

"We were fully aware of the support back home. Our team room was covered in faxes, the amount of text messages, cards and everything coming from home," he said.

"Irish people that travelled and people back-packing -- it meant a lot to us and we're very thankful."

Irish Independent

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