Thursday 23 October 2014

Ronan O’Gara not interested in Munster head role – for now

Published 07/02/2014 | 09:08

Ronan O'Gara

Ronan O’Gara has said he is not interested in succeeding Rob Penney as Munster head coach, but reiterated it is an ambition further down the line.

Yesterday Munster announced that Penney and Simon Mannix would be leaving their posts at the end of the season having turned down the option of a third year in charge.

Anthony Foley has emerged as an early favourite to succeed the New Zealander, with Paul O’Connell suggesting yesterday that the forwards coach would put his hand up for consideration at the end of the season.

O’Gara’s name had also been suggested in some quarters, especially after previously stating that coaching the province is something that would interest him greatly.

While he was adamant that it was something he would only consider with more experience under his belt when pressed previously about his ambitions, his name has cropped up since the surprising news came through yesterday.

The Racing Metro coach has however poured cold water on those suggestions quickly.

“For me, as a head coach, no, it’s much too soon,” he told 2FM’s Game On last night.

"I’m really enjoying what I’m learning and hopefully that dream will be alive sometime in the future.

“I’d be flattered with something like that. Munster is a great team but I’m just eight months into a two-year deal in Racing Metro and I’ve a fantastic opportunity here.

"I’ve really landed on my feet with the opportunity I have to earn experience so as far as I’m concerned it’s business as normal, keep the head down, keep working and try and progress as best I can. 

The Cork man did however add that he would consider any offer if it was made, perhaps even as a specialist coach.

“But at the same time if a door is to open in Munster you’d always listen," added the 36-year-old RTÉ Rugby analyst, who hung up his playing boots at the end of last season.

The possibility of an Anthony Foley/Ronan O’Gara coaching ticket has been bandied about and his former international colleague Shane Horgan agrees that it is a distinct possibility.

“I heard his comments (regarding the Munster coaching role) and he didn’t distance himself out of a backs position,” he told Radio One this morning.

“It could be a Foley/O’Gara partnership, though he does seem happy where he is at the moment,” he added.

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