Rugby

Ronan O'Gara Says He Had No Approaches To Return To Irish Rugby

Ronan O'Gara Says He Had No Approaches To Return To Irish Rugby

This looks like it could be a big weekend for Ronan O'Gara.

Having earned plenty of plaudits for his coaching with La Rochelle in recent times, there will be plenty of interested onlookers as his team take on Leinster in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

They will enter the semi-final as underdogs, but you can be certain the former Munster man will be looking to get one over on his old rivals.

This is probably the biggest game of his coaching career thus far, although he will have plenty more opportunities to perform on the biggest level with La Rochelle. The 44-year old recently signed a contract extension with the French side, one that will see him promoted to take sole control of the playing side of the club.

That seemingly put an end to any chances that he will return to Ireland over the next couple of years, something many in this country have been crying out for.

Speaking to Virgin Media ahead of the game against Leinster, O'Gara revealed that he had no approaches from Ireland to take up a role with an Irish side prior to signing his new deal.

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I enjoy plenty of aspects in La Rochelle, there are plenty of challenges in the club as well. There were other opportunities to go elsewhere, but I had another year left on my contract as well.

I'm old school in that regard. I think it's important if you sign a contract and give your word that you commit to that...

No, no, no (the opportunities weren't from Ireland).

To be fair to Munster, I have chatted to a few members in the organisation. It's a club I have huge time for obviously, but where I'm looking at it from the outside it looks very different.

I think it's important for me that I get as much experience and as much enjoyment out of the game, so that wasn't an option to go to an Irish team.

That works both ways. I didn't show any interest either so we can't say that approaches weren't made. I have a good relationship with both Andy Farrell, Johan van Graan and people in Munster. There are no hard feelings either way...

I have transitioned and I am finished my learning stage as a coach, now I'm implementing what I want to do. I'm only in the infancy of that stage and I enjoy it, it's very exciting where I am now.

In terms of the decision to sign on (at La Rochelle), it just made a lot of sense.

O'Gara is slowly building a very impressive coaching resumé, with his stints in France and New Zealand bringing the type of outside view that is often lacking in Irish rugby.

Unfortunately, it looks as though we won't be benefitting from his experiences any time soon.

SEE ALSO: Mad Coincidence Meant Ferris Amongst The First To Learn Of O'Gara's Coaching Move

Gary Connaughton

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