| 11.5°C Dublin

'I went after him initially' - Ronan O'Gara reveals role he played in signing Munster's Donnacha Ryan for Racing 92


Ronan O'Gara and Donnacha Ryan training for Ireland in 2013

Ronan O'Gara and Donnacha Ryan training for Ireland in 2013


Ronan O'Gara and Donnacha Ryan training for Ireland in 2013

Ronan O'Gara has revealed he made the initial contact with Donnacha Ryan to pave the way for his move from Munster to Racing 92.

Ryan, who turns 34 this December, will join O'Gara at the French club next season after the controversial move that has left a sour taste with Munster.

Writing in his Examiner column this morning, O'Gara confirmed he made the initial approach to his former team-mate but had no hand in the contract negotiations.

While O'Gara says that Munster fans should be upset with Ryan leaving the province, he feels that players over 30 years of age are "not valued" in Ireland with France one of the only countries that "values experience".

"How involved was I? Of course, I went after him initially but when it came to the contracts and the small print, I stayed well away from everything," wrote O'Gara in the Irish Examiner.

"An individual has to decide for himself what they want to do. With the volatility in French rugby, there's no point signing a contract thinking, 'I'll be here forever and a day'. Even in recent weeks, Donnacha would have been a close observer of the 'fusion' with Stade Francais which looked like it might scupper any hope of a deal for him.

"So it was really important that Donnacha, or any player, makes up their own mind rather than me trying to convince them it's the right thing to do."

Former Ireland international Luke Fitzgerald also suggested that Ryan is leaving Ireland too young. Speaking on the Left Wing this week,  Fitzgerald explained why the IRFU may regret allowing Munster second row Ryan to leave for Racing 92 before the next World Cup, pointing to examples of other locks who prospered as they grew older.

Online Editors

Related Content