Fly-half Ronan O’Gara insists he hasn’t called time on his international career just yet – despite suggesting Munster would soon be his sole priority after Ireland’s historic victory over Australia at the World Cup.
O’Gara came off the bench and assumed kicking duties in Ireland’s first ever World Cup win over a Tri-Nations side before saying he would be ‘done with Ireland in a few weeks’ but now maintains he has not set a date for his international retirement.
Ian Keatley has performed admirably in O’Gara’s absence, guiding the defending champions to the top of the RaboDirect Pro12 table, and will be provide competition for Ireland’s record points scorer for the Munster number ten shirt upon his return from New Zealand.
But O’Gara insists that he’s refusing to think past Ireland’s World Cup involvement just yet.
He said: “It's important for me to put an end to this because it's a distraction the team don't need.
“I was speaking in the context of being done with Ireland in six or seven weeks' time in terms of this World Cup.
“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.
“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.
“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's right.
“You take advice from people you respect on that front. I'm not at that stage yet.”