You don’t become one of the world most capped Rugby Union players without being supremely talented, and Ronan O’Gara is exactly that.
The 39-year-old made his Munster debut against Connacht in August 1997, scoring 19 points.
He was part of the Munster team that won the 2002–03 Celtic League, starting and scoring 12 points as Munster beat Neath 37–17 in the Millennium Stadium. O'Gara turned down the chance to join NFL side Miami Dolphins in March 2003.
On 19 January 2008, O'Gara captained Munster to victory against Wasps in their final pool match of the 2007–08 Heineken Cup, knocking the champions out and making it through to quarter finals of the cup for the tenth consecutive season.
He was credited as the player who had made the greatest contribution to European Rugby during the first 15 years of the Heineken Cup and was awarded the ERC European Player Award in May 2010.
O'Gara's retirement was confirmed on 18 May 2013. He was offered a one-year contract extension by Munster, but instead decided to take a coaching role outside Ireland with French side Racing 92.
He confirmed in a statement on 18 May 2013 that he would be joining Racing 92's coaching team in July 2013. He became an assistant coach and also worked with their youth team.
Since making his debut in 1997, against the province of his parent’s birth, Connacht, O’Gara has become one of the world’s most respected fly halves. International representation was soon to follow provincial as O’Gara made his Ireland debut against Scotland in 2000.
He has forever cemented his place in Irish rugby folklore as his last gasp drop goal beat Wales to seal Ireland’s first Grand Slam in 61 years.
The 39-year-old has added the aforementioned Grand Slam to his huge trophy portfolio. He has won four Triple Crowns and a Grand Slam with Ireland as well two European Cups and multiple domestic trophies with Munster.
O'Gara officially began his coaching role at Racing 92 on 1 July 2013. On 9 March 2016, it was announced that O'Gara had signed a contract extension with Racing 92, which will see him remain with the club until at least 2019.
(LS April 2016)
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|1997 - 2013|