Ronan O’Gara will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Zurich Irish Rugby Players’ Awards taking place on the 4th of May in the DoubleTree by Hilton, Burlington Road. The iconic Lions, Ireland & Munster fly-half will join an illustrious group of players including Anthony Foley, David Humphreys, David Wallace, Girvan Dempsey and Eric Elwood.
O’Gara’s professional career spanned an incredible 17 years, amassing 128 International caps. He will be forever remembered by fans for his sublime last minute drop-goal against Wales, securing Ireland’s first Grand Slam victory in 61 years.
Upon hearing of his induction, O’Gara commented; “It was a very nice surprise to get the call from IRUPA to inform me that the past players of Ireland had voted for me to be inducted into the BNY Mellon Hall of Fame. I have had the honour to play with incredible players throughout my career and without their drive and support I would not have had the career that I did. I am very honoured to be in amongst legends of Irish Rugby.”
O’Gara’s rugby days began in Presentation Brothers College in Cork where he captained his school to the Munster Senior Schools Cup. His early success at school was followed by silverware at his native club of Cork Constitution picking up an AIL winners medal. He broke his way in to the Munster set up in 1997 and made his competitive debut against Connacht scoring 19 points.
O’Gara’s career went from strength to strength as he became a driving force in the formidable Munster team of the noughties. His passion for his province was epitomised in his performances in the 2005/2006 & 2007/2008 Heineken Cup campaigns where they were crowned champions of Europe. On numerous occasions he rallied his team mates with his scoring ability and his innate gift of believing in victory when others around him were unsure.
In 2000, O’Gara made his debut for Ireland against Scotland in the Six Nations at Lansdowne Road, on the same day as his Munster half-back partner, Peter Stringer. His international career lasted 13 years where he made the number 10 jersey his own and proved to be one of the finest to ever play the game.
IRUPA CEO, Omar Hassanein, believes O’Gara will be remembered as one of the best; “Ronan’s passion for his province and country and his love for the sport was evident each time he stepped on the field. His career is littered with moments of genius, however beneath that was a relentless work ethic and a will to succeed. He was a leader both on and off of the field and continues to demand excellence in his position in Racing Metro. Ronan is undisputedly one of the few players of this great game that has inspired a generation of children to pick up a rugby ball.”