Full name Ronan John Ross O'Gara
Born March 7, 1977, San Diego, CA, United States
Current age 36 years 72 days
Major teams British and Irish Lions, Glasgow, Munster, Ireland
Height 6 ft 0 in
Weight 186 lb
|British and Irish Lions||2005-2009||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2003-2011||14||10||4||93||0||24||14||1||9||5||0||64.28|
|Test debut||Ireland v Scotland at Lansdowne Road, Feb 19, 2000 match details|
|Last Test||Scotland v Ireland at Murrayfield, Feb 24, 2013 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Born in San Diego, California, O'Gara has risen from the level of a bit part international player to a commanding, world class fly-half.
O'Gara made his Ireland debut against Scotland in the 2000 Six Nations age 23, and entered into a fierce competition with Ulster's outside half David Humphreys for the No.10 jersey.
His early form for Ireland was enough to ensure him a place on the 2001 British Lions tour to Australia. O'Gara failed to secure a Test berth, and will be remembered for the beating he took at the hands of NSW Waratahs' fullback Duncan McRae during a midweek game.
Back in Ireland, O'Gara and Humphreys continued their tussle through to the 2003 Six Nations, only for O'Gara to miss the tournament and the following summer tour of Australia through injury.
By the time the 2003 Rugby World Cup arrived, O'Gara had returned to fitness. He found himself in second place in the Ireland pecking order behind Humphreys, who was in majestic form.
Ireland exited the tournament at the quarter-final stage after losing 43-21 to France, but O'Gara's opportunities were limited to substitute appearances and a start against minnows Namibia during the group stage.
The 2004 Six Nations saw O'Gara emerge as an international talent, as he helped Ireland to their first Triple Crown in 19 years. O'Gara was again a Lions tourist in 2005, but found stiff competition from Jonny Wilkinson and Stephen Jones limiting him to only a replacement appearance in the third Test against New Zealand.
O'Gara's willingness to play open, expansive rugby allowed him to engage and unleash the talented Irish backline. His high risk style of play has matured over the years, and a finer exponent of controlled kicking in challenging conditions is hard to find.
O'Gara will also always be synonymous with Munster, and is the Heineken Cup's all time leading scorer. His side's victory over Biarritz in the 2006 competition was seen by many as destiny, and sparked a purple patch for O'Gara.
Exuding confidence, O'Gara became arguably the finest fly half in the northern hemisphere, with a deadly attacking arsenal and a new found belief in his ability to challenge even the stoutest defences.
The 2007 Rugby World Cup proved to be a difficult time for O'Gara however, as Ireland's stuttering performances were compounded by wild media speculation surrounding aspects of his private life.
O'Gara returned to Munster colours to help them to another Heineken Cup victory in 2008, when he landed the penalty that sealed a 16-13 triumph over Toulouse in Cardiff.
O'Gara retained the Ireland No.10 jersey under new boss Declan Kidney, starting all of their 2008 autumn internationals including their bad-tempered win over Argentina.
A stand out year followed in 2009 when he became the all-time leading points scorer in the history of the Six Nations before steering Ireland to an historic Grand Slam. His late drop goal against Wales in the title decider at the Millennium Stadium ended a 61-year drought for Ireland's second clean sweep.
He was then selected for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa and made the squad for the first and second Test. He stayed on the bench for the first Test defeat in Durban but came on as a late replacement in the second Test in Pretoria. In the last minute, with the scores tied at 25-25, he tried an ambitious up-and-under before taking out Fourie du Preez in the air. Morne Steyn kicked the resulting penalty as the Lions suffered heartbreak over another series loss. O'Gara was replaced by James Hook on the bench for the third Test.
In November 2010 O'Gara came off the bench against South Africa at the new Aviva Stadium to win his 100th cap for Ireland, becoming his country's third Test centurion. And he reclaimed the Ireland No.10 shirt during the 2011 Six Nations, steering his side to victory over Scotland at Murrayfield with a vintage display.
He continued to vie for starting shirt with Jonathan Sexton as Ireland went into the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Sexton started the opening games but O'Gara was chosen for their crucial pool clash with Italy and retained the jersey for the quarter-final defeat to Wales.
During the tournament reports circulated that he would retire at the end of the competition but the Irishman later denied that he had taken any decisions regarding his international future.
Following the World Cup O'Gara underlined his reputation as a ruthless match-winning fly-half as he twice in successive weeks dropped goals to secure wins over Northampton and Castres in Munster's opening games of the 2011/12 Heineken Cup.
O'Gara dropped behind Sexton for Ireland's Six Nations campaign and he failed to score any points in the tournament for the first time since 2000. However he insisted again that he would not retire from international rugby.