Ronan O'Gara is set to leave his role at the end of the month with Racing 92 in order to take up a coaching role with Super Rugby side Crusaders. The former Munster and Ireland out-half will make an unprecedented move in order to add to his already impressive CV with the New Zealand outfit.
Speaking about the move prior to the Ireland v Argentina November test, O'Gara cited the impact the passing of Paul Darbyshire and Anthony Foley had on his decision. When asked by Daire O'Brien what the long-term goal was, O'Gara responded:
I don't know Daire, genuinely, I've never been like that. Ever since... it was really brought home with Paul Darbyshire and Axel. I think now, it is [living in] 'the now'.
People are asking, when are you going? Everything as a result of that, I look upon it very differently, a short-term game.
The game for me is the back-to-back against Castres in the European Cup for Racing and then there's the first game in the new arena against Toulouse on the 22nd, then home for Christmas and then gone get stuck into it.
Paul Darbyshire was head of strength and conditioning with Munster rugby. In 2010 he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He passed away in 2011.
At the time O'Gara was a vigorous fundraiser for Darbyshire and alongside many Munster teammates took part in the Munster Cycle with Darbyshire's wife, Lyndsay.
Last year Munster legend Anthony 'Axel' Foley, a former teammate of O'Gara's, passed away suddenly due to an un-diagnosed heart condition.
O'Gara' is to be commended for his honesty in speaking about this, a trait that is no doubt appreciated by players he coaches too. His subsequent analysis of Ireland's options at out-half was just another reminder of his immense understanding of the game. It is becoming increasingly clear that we are witnessing the development of a future Ireland coach.