O'Gara heeded wake-up call
Ronan O'Gara admits his demotion as Ireland's first choice fly-half last autumn forced him to address his loss in form.
O'Gara will continue in the number 10 jersey for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with France in Paris with a fit-again Jonathan Sexton likely to feature on the bench. It will be his second start since losing his place to Sexton for the 15-10 victory over South Africa in November.
"It hurts when you're dropped. It's very disappointing, especially when you care about the team so much," said O'Gara. "When you're dropped there's no need to panic. I had to go away, sort things out and come back."
He added: "When it happens you try to see where you can make improvements.
"You look at yourself harder but usually your first reaction is to try and blame other people and not yourself.
"I think I've been playing well this season, though I didn't goalkick well. That's a fact and you have to be criticised for these things.
"I needed to address that and that's what I did. I was happy in my own head, even when things weren't going so well.
"Small things at this level make a big difference, there was nothing big that needed changing."