Sunday 17 December 2017

A day after his old mate Peter Stringer wins a prestigious award, Ronan O'Gara goes one better

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

It is fitting that after almost an entire sporting lifetime soldiering alongside each other at halfback, Peter Stringer and Ronan O'Gara have been given prestigious honours within a day of each other.

Yesterday, Peter Stringer was chosen as Sale Sharks' Player of the Year, a remarkable feat for a player who turned 38 before Christmas. He may have outlasted his former out-half by three seasons on the pitch, but that doesn't make Ronan O'Gara exempt from accolades.

IRUPA, the Irish players union, today announced that O'Gara will be inducted into their Hall of Fame, joining legendary figures such as David Wallace, David Humphreys and Anthony Foley.

O'Gara's relentless accuracy with the boot saw him kick 2,625 points for Munster and 1,083 for Ireland, winning three Celtic Leagues, two Heineken Cups, a Grand Slam and three other Triple Crowns along the way.

In a statement on the IRUPA website, the three-time Lions tourist said he was 'honoured' to get the selection.

‘It was a very nice surprise to get the call from IRUPA to inform me that the past players of Ireland had voted for me to be inducted into the BNY Mellon Hall of Fame. I have had the honour to play with incredible players throughout my career and without their drive and support I would not have had the career that I did. I am very honoured to be in amongst legends of Irish Rugby.’

Of course, all the individual honours in the world will never come close to matching Stringer and O'Gara's epic shared achievement of 2009 - when the scrum-half found his ten in the pocket for the drop goal that ended Ireland's 61-year Grand Slam drought.


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