"Every team did it!" - Paul O'Connell on Roy Keane comment to Ronan O'Gara that he couldn't deny
Cork on Cork violence!
Paul O'Connell has been fortunate enough to rub shoulders with Roy Keane on several occasions, over the years. One of his fondest memories is of a dinner with the Manchester United and Ireland legend about his stint studying with the All Blacks.
When he finished up playing, Keane took over as Sunderland manager and led them to the Premier League. Ahead of the 2008/09 season, he travelled to New Zealand to spend a week learning from Graham Henry and his All Blacks coaching staff. "Seeing them in action in New Zealand fulfils a lifetime ambition," he said, at the time.
In an interview with David Walsh in The Sunday Times, Keane recalled seeing an All Blacks player dropping a couple of passes. It struck him that no-one had admonished the player for the repeated errors. The ABs coach replied:
"Do you think we are here to coach him how to catch a fucking ball?’ He said he’ll fall by the wayside, don’t worry about him."
"I loved it," Keane said. "Brutal."
Paul O'Connell on Roy Keane's comment about ROG
Roy Keane is a keen supporter of Munster and Ireland and has been in, before and after his playing days, to talk with the squads before big games.
In his chat with former Wales and Lions openside Sam Warburton, for his 'Captains Pod', Paul O'Connell recalled a more relaxed occasion when Keane was out for dinner with some of the Ireland players.
"When he was doing his FIFA badges, Ireland were playing New Zealand. [The prospective coaches] had to visit another team. Rather than visiting the Irish rugby team, Roy went and stayed a week the New Zealand rugby team.
"We went out for dinner with him - myself and a few of the lads - but I remember what he told Ronan O'Gara. He said, '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!'"
O'Connell still laughs now when he thinks of the dead-pan delivery from Keane to his fellow Corkman. Still, he adds, "Every team did it [targeted O'Gara], you know."
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
Sam Warburton verified that much on Ronan O'Gara.
"Oh, Wales certainly did go after him. I can vouch for that!."
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