Ronan O’Gara today was inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame. The former Munster and Ireland out half, spoke at the event in Rugby (a town in England) after he came the 12th Irish man to pick up the award.
O’Gara said he was “hugely humbled” to pick up the award. O’Gara who currently coaching in Super Rugby in New Zealand with Crusaders, went on to win 128 Ireland caps, three British and Irish Lions tours and two Heineken Cup wins in 2006 and 2008. He will also be known to many for the man that won Ireland the Grand Slam in 2009 with that last minute against Wales in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Speaking to World Rugby, O’Gara said “In our generation there wasn’t many distractions”. The former number 10 went on to say further “When Wimbledon was on we used to get a skipping rope and put it across the road and chalk out the [lines]. “We’d Gaelic football in Ireland, tennis, pitch and putt, so there was all kinds of sports. “It didn’t necessarily have to be rugby to shape you. “You get great values and sporting ability from [most sports].”
O’Gara also a former coach with Racing Metro, throughout a career spanning 13 years from 2000-2013 went on to score 1,083 points and is the current top scorer in Six Nations history with 557 points. O’Gara went on to say “It’s pretty spectacular, it’s hugely humbling [to get this honour],” said the 41-year-old. “I really enjoyed the journey, I was lucky that I was injury-free for a lot of it”. O’Gara said that it was dream to play for his country, he said “Every young boy dreams of playing for their country for the first time. It’s amazing though, when you get into it you become overpowered with such positive thoughts. He said it is a great day for his family, his former schools and clubs and said “It’s a great day for me and my family obviously but also [my] primary school, secondary school, Cork Constitution, Munster, Ireland, the Lions, Racing, Crusaders.
O’Gara helped out with Ireland as an assistant coach on the summer tour to the USA last year and said the grand slam of players were a special team, that the current team is a step ahead. “We’d been an honest team and the boys nowadays have kicked it on to a new level,” he said. O’Gara was inducted into the hall of fame along with Stephen Larkham (Australia), Liza Burgess (Wales), Pierre Villepreux (France) and Bryan Williams who were all inducted on Wednesday. O’Gara joins fellow Irish legends Keith Wood, Brian O’Driscoll, , Willie-John McBride, Basil Maclear, Fergus Slattery, Tom Kiernan, Ronnie Dawson, Mike Gibson, Syd Millar, Tony O’Reilly and Jack Kyle in the hall of fame