Wednesday 26 October 2016

O'Gara reveals ambition to coach with O'Connell

Published 14/04/2016 | 02:30

Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Sportsfile
Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Sportsfile

Ronan O'Gara wants to form a coaching partnership with his old colleague and friend Paul O'Connell, but has ruled out a return to Munster in the near future.

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The legendary former Munster out-half recently signed a new contract to keep him at Champions Cup semi-finalists Racing 92 until 2019 but wants to begin working with the recently retired Ireland captain as soon as possible.

O'Connell has yet to declare his intentions after being forced to hang up his boots due to the hamstring injury he suffered at the World Cup last October, but has visited the training grounds of Harlequins and Grenoble as he weighs up his next move.

And O'Gara has raised the prospect of a Munster dream-team pairing up in the future.

"It's no secret of the two of ours that we want to team up. It's about getting the right opportunity," he said.

Asked if there might be a chance to link up in Paris, O'Gara said: "No, but depending on what role he is there's always something potentially.

"Any fella who has his head screwed on will be looking to snap him up. It's a case of trying to get a plan together between us and start competing as a unit, because that's what we both want to do.

"He's still just re-adjusting and you've got to appreciate that too, because your head is all over the place when you come out of rugby."

Meanwhile, Tommy Bowe and Luke Fitzgerald were the biggest names to miss out on Joe Schmidt's 44-man training squad who will gather at Johnstown House in Kildare this weekend.

Tighthead prop Nathan White was another notable absentee after being ever-present in the Six Nations. The Connacht player has been out of action in recent weeks as a result of the concussion he suffered against Leinster.

Schmidt has called up the uncapped quartet of Garry Ringrose, Luke McGrath, Quinn Roux and Matt Healy for the 24-hour camp which begins on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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