It's been an interesting few weeks for Ronan O'Gara. The Munster man has been linked with numerous jobs including the French national side and Top 14 club Montpellier in recent weeks. On top of it all, with Joe Schmidt set to depart after the World Cup, there will soon be an opening on the Irish coaching ticket.
Schmidt's departure paves the way for a backs/attack coach to join Andy Farrell. O'Gara is obviously a named that will be linked to that role and as he told Virgin Media Sport last December, it is something he may be interested in.
It's your home country. You do [want to coach in Ireland] at some stage. It's important too that you get your timing right.
An opening doesn't mean anything. It's about how you can make it better and whether you can make it better. Who knows, depending on what role is available.
On this week's World in Union podcast, the Balls.ie rugby show getting an outside perspective on the sport, we caught up with Jake Heenan to discuss working with Pat Lam and John Muldoon as well as his memories of Connacht. The lads also discussed the potential candidates for Ireland's next backs/attack coach.
Full discussion 34.08
A stand-out option given his obvious intelligence in the game. O'Gara has bucked the trend and embarked on a remarkable career abroad to develop his CV. There is no doubt Irish fans would be overjoyed to see him return at some point.
The former Ireland U20s head coach is back with Connacht this year and working wonders with their back line. He is also familiar to several players.
The former Leinster man was held in high regard within the province before departing to Bath. Stuart Lancaster was an obvious candidate before he signed his recent contract extension, but Dempsey is a fine alternative who could bring a similar element of organisation to the Ireland attacking gameplan.
Someone who has spent time with the Irish camp previously and is building his CV with Munster right now. He is very highly rated and last year rejected an offer from Rassie Erasmus to become the South Africa skills coach. The former full-back is now an attack and backs coach.
There is always the possibility Farrell will look outside the bubble and opt for a foreign coach. It is not likely given the standard available with the domestic game, but people like Tony Brown, Wayne Smith or David Ellis could all bring beneficial elements to the role.
To hear the full podcast, which includes a discussion with Jake Heenan on Pat Lam's style and how he changed his game to avoid being injured, as well as a debate on Ireland's next backs coach, search Balls.ie on Spotify, iTunes, Pocketcast or any podcast platform.