18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
"No, it's not a game I will look back on with any degree of pleasure, in fact, one I'll try and forget really. I don't really know how it went so wrong for me or the team. Well, from an overall point of view I suppose I do now. Early on we missed far too many first up tackles and you just won't get away with that against the Frenc. We didn't." " They were in brilliant form, played at 100 miles an hour and punished every error we made and we made plenty. Put ourselves under pressure and I'd agree, lost it in that opening half."
" Added to the overall performance, the result, and then my own performance and substitution, you could say I was massively disappointed. To be honest , yes, I was surprised when I was called off. OK I knew I hadn't had a good opening half. I'd spoken to Eddie at half time and it wasn't that I felt I didn't deserve to be replaced but felt I might get a little more time to turn things around."
" I'd feel that I let myself down with that performance. I would tend to be tough on myself when analysing my game, but there's no point in kdding myself, just try to correct the things I felt went wrong for me."
" We were never under any illusion about the task we faced but when we went out to warm up there was a buzz around the ground, red white and white and blue everywhere. A great air of expectancy almost celebration in the stadium and that was before the kick off ! There was little doubt that their supporters were very much anticipating victory. Afterwards, I don't think you could compare the atmosphere in the dressing room to the Twickenham defeat. I think we played worse in that opening half. This time, at crucial stages we made mistakes and as I said, against the French, in the form they were in, that's curtains."
" The good thing or bad, whichever way you look at it, is that you just have to move on. I know it's cliched, but you just have to try learn from your mistakes. I mean I can't afford to let the disappointment of Paris carry over say to Garryowen or Munster. If I do, then there's the chance I'm going to let another group down. Next Saturday it's the AIB League semis and I might be involved with Garryowen and then there's the games for Munster against Leinster and Castres. So there's not much time for self pity and rightly so."
"I trained with Garryowen on Tuesday and am available for selection but what part I play will be up to Andy Earl. The same goes for John Langford. We don't have great height and John would change that. But then again the side have done superby without us so it's a tough call for him (Andy). I'd be surprised if he changed the side from the one that started against UCD but obviously I'd like to be involved at some stage. It would be important for me. After a game like the one in Paris it would be important to get out there, get the ball in hand, get a good performace under my belt and get the confidence back."