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O'Gara at the centre of flyhalf controversy next to Carter and Wilkinson

By Sam Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A fan poll by French rugby publication Rugbyrama has turned heads after putting former Ireland flyhalf Ronan O’Gara alongside World Cup-winning duo Dan Carter and Jonny Wilkinson.

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Ex-All Black Carter is widely regarded as the most complete No 10 the game has seen as a running threat, passing playmaker and skilled tactician while Jonny Wilkinson is held in similar esteem as the game’s greatest goal kicker who also possessed a heralded attacking game.

The England flyhalf was instrumental in winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup while Carter’s illustrious career ended with World Cup glory in 2015 and the two racked up many records over their long Test careers.

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RugbyRama audaciously asked fans to rank the three players, Carter, Wilkinson and O’Gara in a ‘start, bench or stands’ challenge over who they would prefer to suit up or miss out altogether.

The viral post, viewed over 120,000 times, was ridiculed by Twitter user Tier 2 Rugby for having the nerve to group O’Gara with the other two flyhalves, claiming that the Irishman is the ‘most overrated player of all time’.

“Nobody else is the gulf between casual fan perception and reality of their level so gigantic,” he wrote.

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The sentiment was echoed by many who felt it was unfair to put O’Gara into the mix.

There were some French supporters who had a soft spot for O’Gara, this user wrote:

“Everyone is going to put O’Gara in the stands, and it hurts me a lot since he’s one of the players I liked the most, maybe my childhood favourite. But at the same time what argument to pass it in front of the 2 others? Carter every day”

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Other French fans turned on O’Gara for his tackling at the international level. This user wrote: “Who’s the guy in green? Go hop in the stands. You have to know how to tackle to play rugby.”

Despite receiving the undesirable tag of most overrated, the current La Rochelle head coach holds an impressive playing resume, with 128 caps for Ireland spanning 14 years from 2000-2013.

Whilst he doesn’t have any World Cups in his trophy cabinet, O’Gara was a Grand Slam winner in 2009 with Ireland while he won two European Cup titles with Munster.

As a coach, O’Gara was an assitant on two Super Rugby-winning Crusaders teams whilst he has enjoyed success with La Rochelle with one European crown and a Top 14 title.

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