Thursday 22 March 2018

Ronan O'Gara reveals a piece of priceless management advice he received from Jim Gavin

Racing Metro defence coach Ronan O'Gara
Racing Metro defence coach Ronan O'Gara

Former Ireland outhalf Ronan O'Gara has revealed a piece of advice he received from Dublin's All-Ireland winning manager Jim Gavin which seems to have made quite an impression.

O'Gara's Racing Metro side are enjoying a very impressive season to date. They are top of the French Top 14 and are set to advance comfortably from their Champions Cup pool this weekend.

Speaking on Game On on 2FM, the Munster legend was speaking about what impact CJ Stander is going to have in the upcoming Six Nations and he let slip a piece of advice he received from Gavin.

"The standard of some of the European games this season would be a long way off what is going to happen at Test level in the Six Nations," he said

"Everything happens a little but quicker at the top level and from that point of view it will be interesting to see how CJ goes in the A versus B games which happen every Monday or Tuesday of Irish camp in the week before the Welsh game.

"There's no doubt that he'll be in the 23 because of his impact value. He's a serious option off the bench.

"Managements sometimes prefer finishing with the stronger team rather than starting with the stronger team which is something I learned from Jim Gavin."

O'Gara also gave his opinion Garry Ringrose's omission from Joe Schmidt's Six Nations squad.

"It's a Test environment, so the question in my head is he going to start against Wales? because it's not a developing squad it's a real Test match with essentially 10 days preparation," he added.

"If Joe doesn't get results then everyone starts screaming and shouting for him to get his act together.

"I think the proven two are Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne. There's no doubt that Ringrose has an awful lot to offer... the counter agrument is 'how is he going to develop is he doesn't get game time?'.

"You can be sure he will get his opportunity.

"Maybe Paddy Jackson got put into the Test arena too soon and he's recovered a few years later as opposed to a softer introduction because confidence is the one thing that can't be shot in young people because they never come back as the same player."

Despite facing daunting trips to Twickenham and the Stade de France, O'Gara believes a third straight title is not beyond Ireland.

"It will be tougher in the fact that the English and the French games are away from home. That traditionally is the harder fixture list.

"I don't think there has been a great power surge to England and France all of a sudden, England will have the same players just a huge amount of hype behind them because they are England.

"The French system is nowhere near as oiled as it should be.

"I think with the motivation in team Ireland and the quality of personnel thy have... it's five games and I think there is a massive opportunity for them to do something great again this year."

Online Editors

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