Ronan O'Gara linked with move for former Munster teammate
No sooner did we have Jamie Heaslip declaring his grá for Irish rugby then another high-profile international is linked with a jaunt to France.
Heaslip, who captained Ireland against Italy at the weekend, has signed up with Leinster and Ireland until the completion of the 2019 World Cup.
The forward, who will turn 36 at the end of 2019, has penned a deal that is fully funded by the IRFU and will place him right at the top of pile in terms of rugby wages.
We had less than 24 hours to digest that good news before Donnacha Ryan was linked with a move.
The 32-year-old Munster lock is coming to the end of a three-year contract and has yet to sign a new one. The Irish Independent has reported that Ryan is 'being courted by former team-mate Ronan O'Gara for Racing 92'.
O'Gara spoke about Ryan earlier this season, ahead of Munster's victory over Racing in Paris. The Racing defence coach paid tribute to how the Tipperary native and Keith Earls had been able to raise their game despite the tragic loss of former coach and teammate Anthony Foley. He told The Irish Times:
"No, they haven’t looked back and it’s brilliant. They obviously had a player-coach relationship with Axel, bar Keith and Donnacha and a few others who had played with him, but those of us who played with him would see Axel in a different way, and that’s why it’s incredibly sad."
Ryan has come back incredibly well from a persistent foot injury that put him on the brink of retirement a little under two years ago.
Now back to his best, he has helped Ireland to victories over New Zealand and Canada and he was recalled for his 44th Test cap in the 63-10 throttling of Italy last weekend.
Click play [below] to check out an excellent episode of The Hard Yards rugby podcast, featuring Ronan O'Gara, Paddy Wallace, Kevin McLaughlin and SportsJOE's Pat McCarry chatting with host Andy McGeady.
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