But the 33-year-old has been handed back the No. 10 shirt for the Test against the All Blacks, with Kidney admitting O'Gara, who is set to win his 99th cap, will add stability with several first-team regulars missing through injury.
"Ronan has been playing well over the last couple of months and I think he deserves this start," he said.
"I've said all along we're blessed because we have Ronan who is a top-class outside half and Jonathan who is gaining experience all the time and every opportunity he's got he's taken it.
"I think Ronan is the right guy for this game. There is a mixture of reasons for it, some of it is just a feel, some of it is experience."