Ronan O’Gara: I think people want to see Andy Farrell fail

‘I struggle to get my head around that.’

Ronan O’Gara has said that he believes people want Andy Farrell to fail, and that the current Ireland head coach’s position has been questioned ever since he took the job.

Farrell has had mixed success with Ireland so far in his time as head coach, leading them to a third-place finish in the 2020 Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup, with a third or fourth-place finish looking likely in this year’s championship.

The La Rochelle head coach was speaking on Virgin Media‘s rugby podcast about what is expected of Farrell, and gave his opinion on how the head coach is viewed in Ireland.

O’Gara: Some people want to see Andy Farrell fail as Ireland coach.

“What I don’t understand is the context of how Farrell enters this equation. I need an understanding of what we’re judging him on,” O’Gara said.

“If we’re to consider the World Cup as the measurement tool, we have severely underperformed in our history in World Cups.

“I have a feeling, maybe it’s just me, or a lingering feeling that people would like to see Farrell fail. Which probably upsets me and I struggle to get my head around to understand that.”

Ronan O’Gara on Andy Farrell as head coach.

While O’Gara acknowledged that people involved in professional sport will always be harshly criticised if they do not perform well, he believes Farrell hasn’t been treated fairly during his time as head coach.

“As we know, professional sport is ruthless and you’ve got to separate the person from the guy doing his work,” O’Gara commented.

“I think the one area where we will judge Andy Farrell will be Rugby World Cup 2023. I think that is the only place to judge him. I get a negative reaction and the tone from potentially the questions asked in studio, the vibe in the street.

“I don’t live in Ireland but that’s the kind of understanding I get. That it might be time to question him because he’s never been a head coach before.

“But if that’s the case, you’d never ever appoint an assistant coach to the top job. On that criteria, it doesn’t stack up for me.”

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