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Ireland want O'Gara to carry on

Ireland will seek to persuade Ronan O'Gara to shelve any retirement plans after the fly-half hinted the World Cup will be his Test swansong.

An emotional O'Gara indicated in the aftermath of Saturday's magnificent 15-6 victory over Australia that his 11-year international career was almost over, telling RTE: "It's massive, this is it for us. 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. It's a great team, a great bunch of lads and it means a lot to us."

But team manager Paul McNaughton revealed an effort would be made to convince O'Gara to continue playing for Ireland, saying: "Ronan hasn't talked formally to us about it. There's no doubt he still has something to offer the team after the World Cup."

He added: "He's contracted for the next couple of years. Undoubtedly (coach) Declan Kidney and the management will be encouraging him to stay on.

"He's a very, very important part of the set-up here."

O'Gara has kicked 1,039 points for Ireland during his 113-cap career, but has slipped to second place in the fly-half pecking order behind Jonathan Sexton.

The 34-year-old, who made his debut in 2000 and has been on three Lions tours, could yet reclaim the number 10 jersey given Sexton's unconvincing performances against the USA and Australia so far this month.

Paul O'Connell and Gordon D'Arcy will undergo scans after sustaining hamstring injuries at Eden Park.

O'Connell's hamstring tightened up during the match while D'Arcy incurred a low-grade tear, though there is no major concern over either player at this stage.

"We'll know more when we scan them but they're low-grade issues at this stage," said McNaughton.


From Belfast Telegraph