Sunday 17 December 2017

O'Gara was 'happy' with cuts made in revealing documentary

Eimear Rabbitte

RTE Head of Sport Ryle Nugent has admitted that pivotal moments in rugby hero Ronan O'Gara's career were omitted from his fly-on-the-wall documentary.

Mr Nugent said it was a sign of the strength of the documentary that so many highlights of O'Gara's playing career and tender family moments were left on the cutting-room floor.

Cork native O'Gara has received widespread praise following Thursday's documentary, which charted the final four years of his career and the highs and lows of professional sport.

In the 70-minute programme, controversial moments in his career, including his decision to retire and move to France and his rivalry with fellow Irish fly-half Johnny Sexton, were explored.

Other key moments, including O'Gara's long association with the Lions and emotional interviews and family moments, were not featured.

Mr Nugent was speaking in the place of producers Dave Berry and Nathan Nugent, who spent four years making the candid documentary with the fly-half, travelling with him to crunch Irish and Munster games across Europe.

"The editorial decisions are left with the producers and yes of course they had lots of stuff that didn't make the cut," Mr Nugent said.

"In fact, if Dave and Nathan had their way, they would have made the documentary two-and-a-half hours long and still left stuff on the floor.

"That's the nature of the business. It's always a really good sign when you hit the final edits and there are pieces being left out that everybody believes should be in."

Mr Nugent, said that O'Gara (36), who is now based in Paris as a training coach with French side Racing Metro, was content with the finished product.


Mr Nugent said the documentary was a success because of O'Gara's honesty and they will consider doing similar sporting documentaries if budget and time restraints allow it.

"He bought into the idea that if it was going to be any way meaningful he had to allow them (producers Dave and Nathan) in at times when he probably wished he hadn't said yes," explained Nugent.

Rugby analyst Brent Pope said it was refreshing to see such honesty in a sporting hero and he hopes O'Gara's attitude will act as inspiration for up and coming players.

"I think it is good for people to see the real side of rubgy and what they go through on a daily basis because you don't always get that with sporting stars of such a high calibre," he said.

Irish Independent

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