Sport Rugby

Saturday 21 September 2019

O'Gara: I'm ready for Ireland call

 

Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Getty
Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Getty
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ronan O'Gara has admitted that he would be interested in becoming part of Ireland's new-look coaching team, if the IRFU come calling.

With Andy Farrell set to take over from Joe Schmidt following next year's World Cup, there is an opening for a new attack coach in the Irish set-up.

O'Gara has already signed a contract extension with the Crusaders, which will keep him in New Zealand for the 2019 Super Rugby season. That would in theory free him up next summer.

"One phone call can change anything," said the former Ireland out-half, who has been a huge success since leaving his defensive role with Racing 92 and focusing more on attack with the Crusaders, who successfully defended their Super Rugby title.

O'Gara (41) spent time with the Ireland squad on last year's summer tour, with Schmidt speaking highly of his impact. "Of course yeah," O'Gara told Virgin Media News, when asked if he was open to linking up with Farrell in Ireland.

“I would be in contact with a few guys from the IRFU. I played all my rugby here. I’m trying to do the best I can to try and create my own journey as a coach.

“It changes very quickly – one phone call can change anything. At the minute I am in New Zealand, extremely happy, contracted to the Crusaders and will be for a while.

“But something like that, it’s your home country. You do (want it) at some stage but I think it’s important too that you get your timing right.

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“An opening doesn’t mean anything, it’s about how you can kind of make it better. Who knows, depending on what role is available.

Strong

“You can see that the show here is very, very strong at the minute. Some day hopefully it will happen.”

O’Gara has a good relationship with Farrell and he fully endorsed the IRFU’s decision to hand the English man the reins as soon as Schmidt ends his tenure in charge.

“I think he has great pedigree in rugby,” O’Gara enthused. “He doesn’t over-complicate the game. He’s very interesting to talk to. I think his message is very clear.

“I have spent a little bit of time with him but just immediately you are touched by his warmth and his presence and his desire to achieve.

“He’s a competitor. There are so many good things going for him.

“If you are in the (Irish) system and you are doing the business, why not promote from within and that’s exactly what they (IRFU) have done.

“There will be continuity. They want to have three-strong depth in every position, which I think they are doing.”

“It’s so far away now, but who knows where we could be or will be after the World Cup? You could be the best team in the world as World Cup winners. Then hopefully Andy comes in and he takes over and the thing runs smoothly.”

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