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    ROG interview



    O’Gara: How I deal with big-match nerves
    <DIV =LeadPara>RONAN O’GARA produced the perfect 10 against England at Croke Park last Saturday, but the Munster and Ireland out-half took time out yesterday to give an intriguing and stimulating insight into life as a professional rugby player on and off the field, including how the world-class out-half copes with pre-match nerves. </DIV>
    <DIV =LeadPara>O’Gara was guest of honour at the Irish Examiner National Junior Sports Star Awards in Dublin. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>And he revealed how close he came to signing for a ‘loads a money’ French outfit before he agreed a new four year contract with the IRFU, insisting it would be "disloyal" at this stage to quit European champions, Munster. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"That was a tough decision. I would have loved to have played in France at some stage but that will never happen," said O’Gara before adding: "My wife fancied the idea of playing down in France!" </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>But he added: "I had to make a decision and I think if I walked out on the Munster team that’d be hugely disloyal. I have huge time for my team mates, massive respect, they’re ambitious and I think we’re going places with that team. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"It was an easy decision and obviously when you get to play in Thomond Park and Musgrave Park, those atmospheres are incredible. It’s a great team to be part of at the minute, and there’s huge ambition in the squad. In that regard I think there was no other decision but to sign up." </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Last Saturday O’Gara appeared ice cool in moving his three quarter line or when converting his eight kicks from eight attempts at Croke Park, but he says he finds the build up to games of that magnitude "hugely stressful". </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"Sleep wouldn’t be great the night of a big game. Most of us have roommates — bar Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell — they’re the two heroes so they get to stay in their own!" he said, before adding: "You struggle to eat. Then it’s back up to your room, lie on your bed and you wonder why on earth you’re doing this. All kinds of thoughts go through your head, and you have massive doubts. I personally don’t enjoy it anyway. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>‘‘The build up to a game is hugely stressful; I find it difficult but what you get last Saturday against England makes all that worthwhile. You can never underestimate how good that feels. I think the pride in all of us standing for the anthems. Last week is something that’ll make sure we put in extra hard work for the next twelve months." </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>O’Gara is arguably the most recognisable face in Irish rugby alongside Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell, but he admitted there are drawbacks to being famous that, in his case, have included a few "nasty incidents with the press". </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>On his ever evolving and high profile lifestyle, the Cork man added: "It has hugely changed for me in the last twenty four months. I’ve become a lot more recognisable, a lot more known, and that definitely has its downsides. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>‘‘But the great thing about my situation is that as a team sport, it’s enjoyable playing with team-mates. In the squad at Munster, you have thirty fellows and each and every one of them is different — it’s completely different to any other team because what we have there is fellows who’ve grown with each other, who are playing at a top level, are very competitive, and ambitious, but nonetheless will tear strips off you, will take the piss taken out of you, keep you very grounded and that’s important. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"The downside, is the couple of nasty incidents I’ve had with the press,
    Seas suas agus troid!

    #2
    'Huge' interview. [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]



    Hope Not Hate

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      #3
      article title is a bit decieving. should be "how to deal with the press"
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