Roy Keane doesn't have many airs or graces about him.
He has a very straightforward personality and won't be afraid to tell you what he thinks, even if it might upset you to hear it. He certainly doesn't mind ruffling a few feathers.
The Cork man had a very similar mentality when it came to sport, admiring those who took no messing at the elite level. He often gives the All Blacks as a prime example of that mentality, having spent some time inside their camp when doing his coaching badges.
Keane travelled to New Zealand to spend a week with the team, taking in their training session and team sessions. It just so happened that they were preparing for a game against Ireland at the time.
Paul O'Connell recalls Roy Keane comment to Ronan O'Gara
Roy Keane would meet up with a few of the Ireland players in the buildup to the game, going for dinner with a few of their Munster contingent in Paul O'Connell, Ronan O'Gara, and Alan Quinlan.
Speaking on Sam Warburton's Captains podcast, O'Connell recalled that while the football manager would not give away any All Black secrets, he did have a warning for the Ireland out-half.
Ahead of the Six Nations, I caught up with former Ireland and British & Irish Lions captain @Paul_OConnell on #CaptainsPod 🏉
A hero of mine growing up and later a teammate for the Lions, this was a fascinating chat with one of the greats 🙌
Listen now on your podcast app 🎙️ pic.twitter.com/lrzOrp7Snr
— Sam Warburton (@samwarburton_) January 30, 2023
I've met him personally a few times.
It's funny, when he was doing his FIFA badges Ireland were playing New Zealand. He had to visit another team and rather than visiting the Ireland rugby team, he went and stayed a week with the New Zealand rugby team.
We went out for dinner with him, myself and a few of the lads.
I remember he told Ronan O'Gara 'listen I can't tell you anything they've been saying in camp, but I can tell you one thing, they'll be coming after you!'
Every team did, you know.
Roy Keane actually recalled this incident during an interview with The Times back in 2021, also saying that he really enjoyed the cutthroat atmosphere within the All Blacks camp. As for the game itself?
I went to the Test match on Saturday. The weather was atrocious. One of the worst games ever.
New Zealand would win 21-11 on the day, although it wasn't a classic.
As for Ronan O'Gara, we're not sure if Keane's warning had any impact on his preparations for the game.