Former Munster out-half Ronan O'Gara has been induced into World Rugby's Hall of Fame
FORMER Munster and Ireland out-half Ronan O’Gara is one of five legends of the game to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame later this year.
The news caps a brilliant week for O’Gara as the Crusaders' assistant coach saw his side retain the Super Rugby title in Christchurch last weekend.
The other four players to be inducted into World Rugby’s Hall of Fame includes Stephen Larkham (Australia), Pierre Villepreux (France), Bryan Williams (New Zealand) and Liza Burgess (Wales).
The World Rugby Hall of Fame presented by Tudor recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, while also demonstrating rugby's character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.
O'Gara is the 12th Irishman to be included in the prestigious group after Keith Wood, Brian O'Driscoll, Basil Maclear, Fergus Slattery, Tom Kiernan, Ronnie Dawson, Mike Gibson, Syd Millar, Tony O'Reilly, Willie-John McBride and Jack Kyle. already received the honour.
O'Gara won 130 international caps - 128 for Ireland and two for the Lions - during an illustrious career, the pinnacle of which was when he scored the winning drop goal to deliver Ireland's first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009.
He also won two Heineken Cups with Munster and toured with the Lions three times.
This year’s inductees will be honoured at a special ceremony in Rugby, England, on 12 September. The ceremony will be held at the state-of-the-art physical home of the Hall of Fame, which celebrates the inspirational journey of the game from its humble origins to its global present, played by millions of men, women and children.
O’Gara, Villepreux, Williams and Burgess will attend the prestigious event, which will celebrate their careers and contributions to the game.
These five inductees bring the total in the Hall of Fame to 142 since it began in 2006.
World Rugby Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee Bill Beaumont said: “The World Rugby Hall of Fame importantly acknowledges and celebrates the true legends of the game, celebrating those who have made outstanding contributions throughout their careers while embodying rugby’s values.
“On behalf of the rugby family we would like to congratulate this year’s five new inductees, Stephen Larkham, Ronan O’Gara, Pierre Villepreux, Byran Williams and Liza Burgess as they are recognised and honoured for their immense contributions to rugby.
“Each have left their mark on the sport and through their achievements and character, inspired millions to play and support rugby worldwide, and we look forward to honouring them in the coming weeks.”
Fellow World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee and Chairman of the Hall of Fame panel John Eales said: “It is an honour to recognise the contribution of our newest inductees who, over different eras, have inspired generations of rugby players and supporters. Through their induction, they represent the many thousands of men and women who have made our game great.”
World Rugby Hall of Fame 2018 inductees
138 – Stephen Larkham (Australia)
139 – Ronan O’Gara (Ireland)
140 – Pierre Villepreux (France)
141 – Bryan Williams (New Zealand)
142 – Liza Burgess (Wales)