Ronan O’Gara signs Munster and Ireland winger for La Rochelle

La Rochelle head coach Ronan O’Gara has signed Munster winger Darren Sweetnam as a medical joker for the rest of the season.

Sweetnam has made 92 appearances in total for Munster and has won three caps for his country, but has found game time hard to come by recently for the southern province.

The 27-year-old requested an early release from his contract with Munster, which was due to expire at the end of the season, to link up with O’Gara in the Top 14.

Munster head coach Johann van Graan commented on the versatile back line player’s move, explaining that it wasn’t “feasible” to retain Sweetnam for another season.

“Like JJ, we were eager to retain the services of Darren beyond the current campaign, but it hasn’t been feasible,” van Graan explained.

“He is a hugely talented player who has a chance to play in the premier French competition over the coming months and while we are disappointed to see him leave, we are supportive of the move with the hope of Darren securing future opportunities and success in his career.”

La Rochelle’s season so far

La Rochelle are currently flying high in the Top 14 under O’Gara’s stewardship, having won 14 of their 20 games so far and sit in second place in the table, just three points behind Toulouse.

The French club are also still in contention in the Heineken Champions Cup and are due to play Gloucester in the round of 16 at Kingsholm Stadium on Friday night.

Former Munster and Ireland fly-half O’Gara has been La Rochelle’s head coach since 2019, having joined the French club after a stint as an assistant coach with New Zealand Super Rugby club the Crusaders.

Read More About: , , , ,