Ronan O'Gara summoned to French disciplinary committee, days ahead of Leinster clash 2 months ago

Ronan O'Gara summoned to French disciplinary committee, days ahead of Leinster clash

This will be the fourth time in 15 months that O'Gara has faced the committee.

After a mini revival in fortunes, earlier this month, the La Rochelle side of Ronan O'Gara were heavily beaten by his old club, Racing 92 at the weekend. To add to his woes, O'Gara has now been summoned to a French disciplinary committee meeting.

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La Rochelle were reduced to 14 men midway through the first half of their 27-10 defeat to Racing, when Teddy Thomas was sent off for a clothesline tackle on Nolan Le Garrec:

To make matters worse, Pierre Bougarit was then sin-binned - leaving La Rochelle with 13 men for a 10-minute period - and conceded a penalty try. They fell behind 24-3 and were livid when Racing's Juan Imhoff prevented a great try-scoring opportunity.

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The Argentine did not release Judicael Cancoriet after making a last-ditch tackle, and La Rochelle were adamant that they should have been awarded a penalty try of their own. La Rochelle have now lost five of their eight league matches, this season, and are down in 11th place in the Top 14.

To make matters worse, Ronan O'Gara has been summoned to explain his comments towards the match officials.

Ronan O'Gara La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara during a post match media conference, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)
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Ronan O'Gara to face LNR disciplinary committee

Ronan O'Gara had been watching much of the match from the stands but his comments towards match officials were included in the referee's report.

He will appear in front of a disciplinary committee just four days before his La Rochelle side host Leinster in the Champions Cup. A statement from Ligue Nationale Rugby (LNR) reads:

'At the end of the aforementioned meeting, the match officials appointed during this meeting reported the behavior of Mr. Ronan O'Gara, Coach of Stade Rochelais. The situation in question is likely to constitute an infringement of the General Regulations of the LNR and the FFR.

'Mr. Ronan O’Gara and the Stade Rochelais club are summoned before the Disciplinary and Regulations Commission at its meeting on December 6, 2023. Mr. Ronan O’Gara is not suspended pending this hearing.'

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During his time in France, at Racing and now with La Rochelle, O'Gara has run afoul of match officials and the LNR for his behaviour on the sidelines. He has clashed with rival coaches and vociferously shared his opinions with officials, and has been ordered to the stands for some matches.

It remains to be seen what fate befalls him, on this occasion. The former Munster and Ireland star has been hit with sideline bans in past seasons but there is an accumulation of disciplinary appearances, at this stage.

Even if he is sanctioned with another sideline ban, O'Gara could be able to take up a position there at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, on December 10, as the Leinster game is a European fixture.

Also due up in front of the disciplinary committee are Teddy Thomas, over his red card, and former Munster and Ireland centre Chris Farrell, regarding a match incident that saw him get a yellow card. Farrell scored a try, too, as Oyannax defeated Montpellier 26-21.

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