By Damian Dolan.
Statistics alone will never truly be enough to sum up the career of Ronan O’Gara, but a quick glance through them makes mightily impressive reading.
Two Heineken Cup winner’s medals, 128 Ireland caps and 1083 points, 240 appearances for Munster and 2625 points between 1997-2013, 1365 Heineken Cup points, three Lions Tours and, of course, one Grand Slam. Not too many Irish players can reflect on a career as rich and successful as that of O’Gara.
Even now, though, he remains something of an enigma – a complex and private individual, but a thoughtful and humble one as well, as revealed in RTE’s recent documentry, ROG – The Ronan O’Gara Documentry.
At times during his career he’s cut a quiet and aloof figure, but perhaps through no fault of his own – outshone like so many of his contemporaries by Brian O’Driscoll. His contribution to country and province has been no less for that however.
Perhaps only the passing of time will truly reveal where O’Gara stands among Ireland’s greatest fly halves of all time. His place in Munster rugby folklore assured of course.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World