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O'Gara regrets going on tour Down Under

IRELAND out-half Ronan O'Gara believes that he might have been better served by sitting out Ireland's ill-fated tour to the southern hemisphere earlier this summer.

O'Gara started Ireland's first Test against the All Blacks, where he was sin-binned during the 66-28 defeat, before losing his place to Jonathan Sexton for the remaining defeats against New Zealand Maori and Australia.

And with a World Cup on the horizon at the end of the coming season, O'Gara (33) revealed that he would have preferred some time off after his Munster commitments ended at the end of last season.

"You always want to be playing for Ireland against the best teams in the world, but, in my case, I would have liked to have gone on holiday after we lost to Leinster (in the Magners League)," said the Cork man.

"It would have been great if I could have had the four weeks off back then and had a long pre-season and really attack this season, but I was informed there was a full-strength team going so that was my decision made for me.

"I was happy to go out there but, as it turned out, I didn't play well and I lost my place for the Australia game. That's the way it goes and you just get on with it then.

"I had one brief discussion (with Declan Kidney, about sitting out the tour) but it doesn't work like that.

"You never want to turn down the opportunity of playing for Ireland and that was always there. I was trying to weigh up the decision in my head and I had mixed feelings about it.

"I was happy to go and give it all but I didn't play well against the All Blacks, and Ireland didn't play well, so you're watching for the rest of the tour and you feel like it's a bit of a waste of time. But you have to take your medicine when it comes to you."