Munster stalwart Ronan O’Gara has quashed any notion of retirement and claimed he has at least two years left in the tank for the RaboDirect PRO12 club.
The two-time Heineken Cup winner is hoping to guide the Thomond Park outfit to their third European triumph this season and in doing so extend his record as the competition’s all-time leading point scorer.
The Ireland fly-half currently has 1,287 points ahead of the quarter-final clash with RaboDirect PRO12 rivals Ulster on April 8 and insists he isn’t finished yet.
O’Gara will also be hoping to play a major role as Munster look to retain their RaboDirect PRO12 crown – the reigning champions currently lie second in the table after a hard-fought 20-16 win over Connacht on Saturday.
And having failed to force his way past Jonathan Sexton during the Six Nations, the 35-year-old claims he has never felt so determined to prove his worth.
O'Gara told the Irish Examiner: "I'm not retiring – I'm not even close to retiring.
“Calls for my retirement are a joke given my record over the last few years. Being frank, I'm fitter now than I was five years ago.
"I love playing for Munster and I love playing for Ireland. Anyone who knows me knows I'll be the first to call retirement when my time is up, but I can assure you my time isn't up.
"In fact, I have never felt better about my rugby. I've never worked harder and I am as committed as ever and I plan to play for my country until I'm 38.
"Playing is what it is all about. To walk away would be to do myself a disservice. I'd be cheating myself because I know that I'm still good enough to start and win these games. Age is just a number and I will continue to prove that.”