Ronan O'Gara has taken an unorthodox route in his coaching career, but there is doubt that it is now paying dividends.
Following his retirement, he started off with Racing Metro, spending four years at the French club before upping sticks and moving to New Zealand with Crusaders.
After taking up his first head coaching role with La Rochelle, his reputation in the game has only been enhanced. The side currently sit in second place in the Top 14 and are facing into a Champions Cup quarter-final against Sale tomorrow.
Many are already pining for his return to Irish rugby in some capacity, although that may remain some way off. O'Gara would certainly bring a different perspective to the game in this country, something that he has forged during his years abroad.
Speaking to Virgin Media Sport ahead of tomorrow's game, he credited his time at Crusaders for crafting his current view on the game.
Ronan O'Gara says he doesn't have a "masterplan" when it comes to his future as a coach. Spoke to him ahead of La Rochelle's HCC quarter-final tomorrow.
Here he is on how his outlook has changed from when he was a player pic.twitter.com/0S5AH0Wld6
— Sinéad Kissane (@sineadkissane) April 9, 2021
I think my mindset was turned inside-out going to the Crusaders, just the way they think about things and how real positivity and real buy in from a lot of people can enhance an environment.
I'm a massive fan of that. I lived that for two seasons and it's very, very powerful. Extremely powerful, because it multiplies and grows.
I have a growth mindset now and that's very important for me...
As a player I was completely different, but that's because I was shaped or formed in a different era and environment. You're a product of your environment no matter how strong mentally you think you are.
O'Gara's team certainly play a very attractive style of rugby, one he drew plenty of praise for after their recent victory over Gloucester.
It is the type of thing we could do with more of in this country if Ireland are to move with the times at test level.