Taupo - Ireland flyhalf Ronan O'Gara has moved to end speculation that he will retire after the Rugby World Cup, saying his comments might have been misinterpreted and they are now proving to be a distraction to the team.
After Ireland's 15-6 upset win over Australia in Pool C, O'Gara said he'd be "done with Ireland" after the World Cup.
"From my point of view, when you set goals as a professional rugby player, I think everything ends hopefully at the World Cup final and that's exactly where I stand at the minute," the 34-year-old, San Diego-born O'Gara said on Wednesday.
"Playing for my country means so much to me. I said I'd be done with Ireland in a few weeks and there's different interpretations to that. It's important for me to put an end to that (speculation) because it's a distraction the team doesn't need. In my own head, I'll reassess at the end of the World Cup."
O'Gara said retirement had "crossed my mind plenty of times over the last two years."
"I'm a fighter and I'll keep going to the end," he added. "It's about being part of an Ireland team that hopefully will do itself justice in this competition. You don't walk away from that until it's right and you take advice from people you respect.
"I'm not at that stage."
O'Gara has played 113 Tests for Ireland since his debut in 2000. He was also on the last two Lions tours.