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Friday 14 December 2018

Irish sure O'Gara will stay on

Ireland are satisfied that Ronan O'Gara has no plans to retire from Test rugby.

O'Gara (pictured below) yesterday attempted to end doubt over his international future by saying comments he had made after the 15-6 victory over Australia were misinterpreted.

"I'm done with Ireland in a few weeks. I've had a great time in this jersey but I want this to be the biggest time," he told RTé at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Lions fly-half, who is contracted to the Irish Rugby Football Union until 2013, stated that he was referring to the end of the World Cup and not his own position.



CHALLENGE

But his explanation was ambiguous with his claim that only "losers" quit when faced by a challenge tempered by the words "in my own head I'll reassess at the end of the World Cup".

Team manager Paul McNaughton, however, declared the matter closed. "As far as we're concerned, he's confirmed that retirement wasn't on the agenda. We're happy with that," McNaughton said.

"Based on what he said yesterday it was never on the agenda. I think he was definitive.

"After the World Cup, a fresh four-year cycle begins.



REFUSED

"A number of players have said this will be their last World Cup based on their age. Guys will assess after the World Cup as Ronan said, but we've had no indication from any players about impending retirements. It's not an issue."

McNaughton refused to comment on what impact any decision not to play for Ireland would have on O'Gara's contract.

"The contracts for all players in Ireland, not just Ronan's, are to play for their province and national side. That's part of the terms," he said.

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