Ronan O'Gara set to call time on career
April 29, 2013
Ronan O'Gara reflects on Munster's Heineken Cup exit at the hands of Clermont Auvergne on Saturday © Getty Images
Ronan O'Gara has reportedly played his last game for Munster with confirmation of his retirement expected in the coming weeks.
The Irish Independent reports that the 36-year-old fly-half is poised to reject the offer of a new one-year contract with the province and draw a line under a glittering career following Munster's Heineken Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.
O'Gara dismissed talk of retirement in the immediate aftermath of the clash but his tears and reluctance to leave the Stade de la Mosson suggested that the end was perhaps looming.
Capped 128 times by Ireland and a veteran of three tours with the British & Irish Lions, O'Gara is understood to be keen to explore a fresh challenge with a coaching role away from Munster. But coach Rob Penney has not given up on persuading the highly-rated playmaker to play on next season.
"Rog will be a part of Munster for as long as he wants to be," Penney told the newspaper. "He loves the big moments obviously and he's been great for us. Since he's come back from Ireland he's had a clear image of what he's trying to achieve, and what he wants to do. He's such a passionate Munster man."
O'Gara made his debut for Munster in 1997 and has played 236 times for his province including 110 appearances in the Heineken Cup. He has steered Munster to two Heineken Cups and is the leading all-time scorer in the competition. He has also excelled in an Ireland jersey and has scored 1,083 Test points, won four Triple Crowns and a memorable Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape