Rugby

Wednesday 20 August 2014

O'Gara's wife attacks former coach Kidney over treatment of star

Mark O'Regan

Published 21/05/2013 | 04:00

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Jessica has hit out at Declan Kidney and the IRFU for the way her husband was dropped after years of service
Ronan O'Gara

RONAN O'Gara's wife has launched a scathing attack on Declan Kidney and the IRFU for "mistreating" her husband toward the end of his career when he was unceremoniously dropped from the Irish squad.

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Last March, Kidney sensationally left O'Gara out of his 23-man squad for the visit of France to the Aviva Stadium, signalling the end of the Munster player's glittering international career.

It was the first time in his 128-cap and 13-year career that a fully fit O'Gara was not on the team or bench for his country. His wife, Jessica, said it was an "awful" blow for her husband to take, and believes Ronan wasn't shown due respect after dedicating so many years of his life to the Irish setup.

"The way last season ended for him was dreadful. I felt it would have been great for him to have one last day at the Aviva, he could have been clapped off the field," she said.

'WORSE'

"If only Munster had made the (Heineken Cup) final we'd have had the day in Dublin, but it wasn't to be. He played so well against Clermont that he'd have no regrets.

"And the way he played against Clermont almost made the Ireland thing worse, because it was clear he was playing well.

"He was really mistreated. For what he gave to Ireland for so many years, he could have been treated a lot better. It would have been nice. But life is a cycle and he couldn't be there forever."

She also revealed that she found it difficult to deal with reports circulating in the French media in 2007 that her marriage was over.

"That was awful," she said.

"Going into work, knowing people were talking about it but not really discussing it with you . . . I went in, did my job and went home. I went to a match in Paris and there was a photograph of me in one newspaper here, walking out of the hotel.

"I didn't see the photographer who took that, which really freaked me out."

She also joked that she was "gutted" when she and Ronan didn't receive an invite to Prince William's wedding.

Irish Independent

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