Rugby World Cup hero Ronan O’Gara has clarified remarks regarding his future – and vowed to play on for Ireland.
The Munster star had hinted at an international retirement in an emotional interview after Saturday’s win over Australia.
Now O’Gara has cleared up the confusion that followed his remarks in Auckland and insisted he wants to continue playing for his country. Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash with Russia, O’Gara was quick to make his intentions clear.
“On Saturday I was speaking in the context of being done with Ireland in six or seven weeks’ time in terms of this World Cup,” said O’Gara.
“I said I’m done with Ireland in a few weeks and there are different interpretations of that.
“It was a great night, one of my best nights. I was so proud to be part of the team. From my point of view, when you set goals as a professional player everything ends with the World Cup final.
“That’s where I stand at the minute. It’s important for me to put an end to this because it’s a distraction the team don’t need.
“In my own head I’ll reassess at the end of the World Cup. But I want to be part of this team because it’s a great team at the moment.
“It’s about being part of an Ireland team that will do itself justice in the competition and give the supporters at home something they deserve.”
Now understudy to Jonathon Sexton in the Irish team, O’Gara did admit to having doubts about his Ireland future in the recent past.
He added: “Retirement has crossed my mind plenty of times over the last few years.
“There are plenty of thoughts in your head when you’re disappointed but it’s losers who quit when things aren’t going so well for them.
“Retirement hasn’t entered my head seriously in that regard. I’m a fighter and I’ll keep fighting until the end. I’m not sure when that is. Playing for Ireland means so much you don’t walk away from the team until it is right.
“You take advice from people you respect on that front. I’m not at that stage yet.”