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ROG kicks back over criticism

Rugby hero Ronan O'Gara has hit back at columnist Kevin Myers for blaming him for Ireland's devastating loss to France last Saturday.

The Munster and Ireland star admitted that although it "takes a lot for me, as a professional sportsman to react to a newspaper article", he felt the criticism was so scathing that it demanded a response.

O'Gara (32) said: "I do not and will not accept being castigated by a journalist who I suspect knows nothing about rugby, but somehow appoints himself as an 'expert'."

The Irish Independent columnist wrote about his belief that the Cork native was a "weak" player.

"Declan Kidney did not choose a team that could win. His selection of Ronan O'Gara said as much," he added.

However, O'Gara said that his description "falls well short of the journalistic standards I would expect from one of our main national newspapers."