Moving to New Zealand will bring Ronan O'Gara closer to the job he really wants 5 years ago

Moving to New Zealand will bring Ronan O'Gara closer to the job he really wants

You Gotta Go There to Come Back.

We know Ronan O'Gara is a big fan of The Rolling Stones but perhaps there is a grá for The Stereophonics too.


The former Munster and Ireland outhalf finds himself linked with a coaching move to New Zealand. And, if he's coaching there, the whole O'Gara clann [wife Jessica and five children] may be in for a new life experience.

The Irish Examiner is reporting that O'Gara is in the frame for an assistant coach job with Scott Robertson at Crusaders, the reigning Super Rugby champions and the closest fit you will find to Munster in the southern hemisphere.

Robertson can certainly teach the Munster legend a few of his best tactics, and moves:


O'Gara is contracted up until June 2019, as defence coach, at Racing 92. The Parisians are set to move to a new, all-purpose ground but 2018 may be a good time to move on. Racing won the Top 14 title in June 2016 but have faltered since. They made the playoffs last season but were easily handled in Europe.

This time out, they lie in sixth in the Top 14 standings and are one from two in the Champions Cup, having defeated Leicester at home before narrowly losing out at Munster.

The New Zealand Herald put the O'Gara reports to All Blacks and Crusaders outhalf Richie Mo'unga. He commented:

"He was one of the best in the world when he was around. If the rumours are true it would be pretty cool.

"He would be very knowledgeable from a 10's perspective. Leon [MacDonald] was a huge help for me this year. He didn't play 10 but he was an outside specialist. When he announced he wasn't coming back I was a bit gutted but I'm excited for whoever gets the opportunity and if it's O'Gara it would be awesome." 


Robertson is on the look-out for a new addition to coaching staff after MacDonald stepped away from his assistant role with the franchise to return to Tasman and be closer to his family. It would be no surprise to learn Dan Carter, who has played under O'Gara these last two years, provided a glowing reference to his old club.

While any such move to Super Rugby would definitely benefit O'Gara, some Munster fans may be questioning why a promising coach, and one of their own, has not been tempted home. Johann van Graan will take over from Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus later this month but there would surely be room for O'Gara on any new coaching ticket.

The Cork native would dearly love to coach his home province one day but he is taking a brave path, and one that is certainly less travelled. Back in June, he told The Hard Yards:


"In relation to Munster, it would obviously be something I'd be really interested in but the timing is nowhere near right."

That tallies with comments he made in January of this year, not long after his Racing side had put up a good fight against Munster at a bouncing, sonorous Thomond Park. Asked if nights like that were tempting him home, O'Gara said:

"Em, no. Not really because I know what these nights are like. If you want to coach Munster you have to be a really good coach. I'm not a really good coach so I have to work on that and go see how other teams and other cultures work.

"Then, when I get that right, I may be in a position to put my hand up but you've got to earn that."

O'Gara must be commended for taking the route he seems to have his heart set on.

Munster have been through a period of great change and turmoil, yet have often rallied so remarkably well. There must be some at the province that would prefer the stability of O'Gara, returning from a productive coaching spell in France, taking up a coaching role there.


O'Gara, though, is not finished learning. He has soaked up everything he can from the likes of Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers and was blown away by his time under Joe Schmidt, on Ireland's summer tour.

He appears to be at a fork in the road and looks set to take turn that will lead to the longest possible route back home.

It should be one hell of an adventure.