O'Gara dropped ahead of France clash
Ronan O'Gara of Ireland is wrapped up by Joe Marler of England during the Six Nations match between Ireland and England at Aviva Stadium. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
Rugby:Ireland’s record cap holder Ronan O’Gara has been left out of Ireland’s 32-man training squad for next Saturday’s Six Nations clash against France at the Aviva Stadium in a move that looks to have ended his international career.
O’Gara, who celebrates his 36th birthday next Thursday, has come off the bench in the defeats to England and Scotland in the present campaign, but has had a poor season by his standards.
The move by Ireland coach Declan Kidney looks like bringing down the curtain on a memorable international career in which he has won 128 caps and scored over 1,000 points.
Jonathan Sexton has been named in the squad as he fights against time to recover from the hamstring injury he picked up against England, while Ulster’s Paddy Jackson and Leinster’s Ian Madigan are the other outhalves to get the nod.
Ulster prop Tom Court, who started against Scotland at Murrayfield, also misses out on the squad, with Munster’s David Kilcoyne providing bench cover for Cian Healy after he won his appeal against suspension for the French game.
Ulster’s South African-born number eight Robbie Diack has been named in the squad, with Munster’s James Coughlan dropping out, while lock Dan Tuohy comes in for his Ulster team-mate Lewis Stevenson. Connacht’s Mike McCarthy is also named as he continues his recovery from a knee ligament injury.
Ulster centre Darren Cave and Connacht fullback Robbie Henshaw both miss out after picking up concussions playing for their provinces in RaboDirect games at the weekend.
Andrew Trimble earns a recall after some impressive performances with Ulster, while the Leinster pairing of Eoin O’Malley and Dave Kearney are also named amongst the backs.
The Ireland squad are assembling at Carton House in Kildare tonight ahead of next weekend’s game, with Kidney expected to name his matchday 23 on Tuesday at 1.30pm.
SQUAD - Backs:Rob Kearney (Leinster), Craig Gilroy (Ulster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster), Dave Kearney (Leinster), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster), Eoin O'Malley (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster).
Forwards:Rory Best (Ulster), Seán Cronin (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), David Kilcoyne (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Ulster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Seán O'Brien (Leinster), Tommy O'Donnell (Munster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Robbie Diack (Ulster).