Tuesday 13 November 2018

Brian O'Driscoll explains why he feels Paul O'Connell and Ronan O'Gara will never form a managerial 'dream team'

Ronan O’Gara congratulates Paul O’Connell after Ireland’s 2014 Six Nations triumph. Photo: Sportsfile
Ronan O’Gara congratulates Paul O’Connell after Ireland’s 2014 Six Nations triumph. Photo: Sportsfile

Brian O'Driscoll has explained why he feels Paul O'Connell and Ronan O'Gara will never form a management dream team.

Former Ireland captain O'Connell joined the Stade Francais backroom team as a forwards coach last month on the back of a season in the same role with the Ireland Under 20s.

O'Connell's first steps into coaching have generated talk of a future managerial dream team ticket alongside his former Ireland and Munster team-mate O'Gara, who is currently the backs coach with Crusaders in New Zealand.

But O'Driscoll can't see that coming to fruition.

"There is no way that Paul O'Connell is going to be happy to be a forwards coach all his life," said O'Driscoll on Off The Ball.

"He likes his control. I would definitely not say he is a control freak but he likes control and he will want to own something himself and shape it hmself.

"Guys with big ambition that have played with teams at the highest level are not happy to say 'ah sure I will just make a nice living now'.

"Now that he is into coaching, he is going to revel in it. He will do brilliantly, he is another detailed guy. He loves it and he is so passionate about it. I was pleased for him that he decided to take the plunge."

When asked if O'Connell would not bask in the role of a forwards coach, O'Driscoll was forthright in his response. 

"No way. No way. He is going to revel in it. He was captain of the Lions, he was captain of Ireland, he was captain of Munster. You are not that type of personality that then goes 'oh I'll just do defense coach for 10 or 15 years'.

"Everyone is talking about a combination. I would be less inclined to believe they are going to form the magic team of going back to Munster or partnering together for Ireland.

"I think they are going to go and do their own things separately and if the stars do align then fine. I wouldn't be as buoyant about that being a possibility.

"They are strong personalities, each of them.

"Unless ROG, with more experience, gets a role in two/three years time and Paul has two/three years experience and Paul wants to play second fiddle in whatever team that is for a period of time. That can happen still, that's not beyond belief.

"But I am just saying, ultimately, Paul O'Connell won't be an assistant coach all his life."

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