It’s the rivalry-turned-partnership-turned-friendship-turned-whatever-it-is-now that, for a time, transfixed Irish sport and also spawned the most terrifying Breakfast Club deep fake edit we’ve ever seen.
The story of Ronan O’Gara and Johnny Sexton began in earnest on a May afternoon in 2009 and, 13 years later, doesn’t show any signs of ending. Here’s a quick look at the intertwined journey of these two iconic No.10s in 10 of their more memorable quotes about one another…
— O’Gara, with typical understatement in those first four words, before elaborating on that iconic first skirmish during the Leinster-Munster Heineken Cup semi-final at Croke Park.
— Sexton, seven years on from the scream in 2016, wishing the exuberance of youth hadn’t been quite so exuberant.
— O’Gara, not quite warmly welcoming Sexton to the Six Nations fold in 2010 in the wake of the Leinster man’s stellar Autumn performances in green.
— O’Gara on how the early years in Ireland camp weren’t the smoothest.
— Sexton with a ringing endorsement of traditional male coping mechanisms.
— Sexton, on how he discovered that he’d be joined on his adventure in Paris in 2013 by that familiar face.
— O’Gara on things coming full circle in the City of Love.
— O’Gara when asked in late 2019 to name Ireland’s player of the decade, proving that the Paris effect had worn off somewhat.
— Sexton after O’Gara had suggested the Ireland captaincy was weighing heavily on him in the wake of a 2020 Six Nations defeat to England.
— O’Gara in the wake of Sexton’s omission from the Lions squad last summer