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'Ronan has all the attributes you need to become a great coach'

PAUL O'CONNELL has predicted a very bright future for Ronan O'Gara as a coach.

O'Connell revealed that the only advice he offered his long-time comrade was to take his time with his decision and to make sure he was 100pc certain it was the correct one.

"I'm getting older myself and I think retirement is a very personal decision, especially for some of the guys who have retired in recent years where the decision has been made for them," said O'Connell.

"I am also at a stage where it is thought about. You don't want to rush into anything.

"Ronan's body is in fairly good shape and it's tough to do that, to walk away when you're still in good shape.

"And in fairness he played very well towards the end of the season, so I'd say it was a really tough decision for him and it's one I didn't want to interfere with.

"The only thing I would have said to him was to make sure he took his time making it and didn't rush into anything, but he seems delighted with what has transpired since – he wants to coach and he's got a great opportunity at Racing Metro."

That O'Gara (above) will be coaching, among others, Jonathan Sexton at the Parisian club did draw a wry chuckle from O'Connell.

"I suppose it is a funny turn, but no matter who is working with him they'll enjoy it and benefit from him," he said.

"Ronan has a great charm about him and has an ability to get on with the players around him and get the most out of them.

"He has all the necessary attributes to be a successful coach. As an out-half you have to be massively involved in the decision-making before the game and during the game and as well as that be able to change things when necessary.

"When you're a kicker you also have to work harder than everyone else, with more training sessions than everyone else. Ronan has a great work ethic, great attention to detail and a great love for the game. I think he'll be a great coach."

Irish Independent