Ronan O'Gara responds to Johnny Sexton breaking his Ireland points record
"The competition really begins against South Africa, on Saturday."
Ronan O'Gara will be itching for the Top 14 season to return, but must wait until next month before league fixtures resume. His Stade Rochelais side lie ninth after winning one of their opening three games.
While work continues in La Rochelle, the World Cup rolls on across France. During the tournament's Pool B game between Ireland and Tonga, last Saturday, O'Gara's long-standing Test points record was broken by his own rival for the 10 jersey, Johnny Sexton.
On Tuesday, O'Gara spoke to the press and gave his take on Ireland vs. Springboks, as well as Sexton surpassing his points haul.
Ronan O'Gara on Johnny Sexton.
Johnny Sexton scored his third try of the World Cup in that win over Tonga and now sits on 1,090 points in Test rugby.
The previous record holder was David Humphreys  but O'Gara, who ended up on 1,083, eclipsed him back in 2005. Just under 18 years later, the mantle has passed to a man he diced with for the No.10 jersey for four years, Sexton.
Asked by Rugbyrama how he felt about Sexton beating his record, O'Gara commented:
"I didn't feel much. This record lasted for  years and I was shocked that it lasted that long.
"The only way for me to keep this record would have been if Johnny had retired. But when he decided to play on until the World Cup, it was obvious that he was going to break the record"
"It's something that happens a lot," he added. "It's sport! I'm not disappointed at all. I stopped playing 10 years ago and am super lucky and privileged to have experienced what I experienced.
"I am very happy for Johnny, he works a lot and takes it very serious. For me, having the opportunity to coach La Rochelle and win two [European] titles with La Rochelle is phenomenal. When I was a player, I was very competitive. But it has been a long time now!"
As for Sexton himself, he spoke about breaking the record in Ireland's post-Tonga press briefing. "It's something when you retire you can look back on and be very proud," he said.
"My little boy will be very proud. He was talking about it during the week. It's there to be broken now and I'm sure there'll be some young guys eyeing it up. I'm very proud but tonight it was more important to get the win."
Asked if he had received a text or message from O'Gara, Sexton joked that he was unsure if they were still speaking after a tense Champions Cup final, back in May.
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