O'Gara eyes return to Lions' ranks
September 10, 2012
Ireland international Ronan O'Gara toured with the Lions in 2001, 2005 and 2009 © Getty Images
Ireland international Ronan O'Gara has dismissed talk of retirement and set his sights on a fourth British & Irish Lions tour.
The veteran Munster playmaker will turn 36 before the squad for next year's 10-game tour of Hong Kong and Australia is named but he is hoping that Lions coach Warren Gatland is good to his word having been quoted that age will be no barrier to selection.
However, O'Gara is well aware he will need to perform on the domestic and international stage if he is to join an elite club of four-time tourists. "Why would I stop when I've probably had one of my best seasons last year?'' he told the Irish Examiner when asked whether retirement was on his mind.
As for the prospect of pulling on the world-famous Lions jersey once again, O'Gara added: "It would be nice. It's definitely in the back of my mind but I think you leave it there and concentrate on how you achieve that and get the process right. You could be playing in a test match or you might not even make the Tour.
"That's how close it could be. You worry about week to week matters and see how you perform for Munster. If you perform for Munster you've a chance of performing for Ireland. If you perform for Ireland you could get on the plane (for the Lions) and anything could happen there.
"A lot can happen in a week in sport so from that point of view, you take it as it comes but to achieve four Tours would be something really, really special."
O'Gara is yet to make his provincial bow this season as part of the enforced conditioning programme for Ireland internationals but is excited by what he has seen from new Munster boss Rob Penney and the team who made it two wins from two with victory over Treviso at the weekend.
"It's great, there's a really good atmosphere in the camp, that's crucial and we've a very good squad building at the minute and there's an awful lot of young fellas showing up well in early season."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin