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Shane Horgan Sums Up How Ronan O'Gara's Move Is Unprecedented In Rugby

Shane Horgan Sums Up How Ronan O'Gara's Move Is Unprecedented In Rugby
By Mikey Traynor

With Ronan O'Gara pitch-side to provide some pre-match analysis for RTE ahead of Ireland clash with Argentina on Saturday, no time was wasted in getting to the big news that broke this week regarding the former Munster man.

Ronan O'Gara will be moving to New Zealand to take up a place on the Crusaders' coaching staff on the recommendation of Dan Carter - who worked with O'Gara at Racing 92 - and it will be very interesting to see how he gets on when he does switch hemispheres shortly after Christmas.

The fact that an Irish coach has been essentially head-hunted by one of the biggest sides in New Zealand came as a surprise to many, especially in Christchurch, but O'Gara's former team-mate and fellow pundit Shane Horgan believes it's an important occurrence that should be celebrated.

Horgan pointed out that while other coaches have worked in New Zealand before, they have gone there looking to improve their coaching, rather than be picked out and invited to help.

This is important. I think, without wanting to embarrass Ronan, this is actually unprecedented, what has occurred here.

There's a lot of foreign coaches that have gone to New Zealand, they've paid to go there, and they've gone there to 'up-skill'. Ronan has been sought out to teach the New Zealanders.

New Zealand is the home of rugby, it's the home of rugby coaching, Canterbury - within that - has the most sophisticated coaches in New Zealand, and they want Ronan to teach them.

I think it shows the sort of esteem he's held in, I'm absolutely delighted for him, I think he's going to come back and going to contribute to Irish rugby at some stage being an even better coach than he is now.

O'Gara admitted that working with Joe Schmidt on Ireland's summer tour had opened his eyes as to what it takes to be a high-level coach, and that the Ireland boss' enthusiasm and passion for the job had rubbed off on him and made him realise that he wants to get involved.

He also outlined how the untimely passing of Anthony Foley and former Munster strength and conditioning coach Paul Darbyshire helped him realise that life was short, and that when opportunities like this present themselves sometimes you've just go to jump in head first.

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Most Irish fans would echo Horgan's wish to see O'Gara return and take up a role in the Irish setup, but in the meantime it's going to be fascinating to see how he gets on in Super Rugby.

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