“He will pick his moment.”
Lenihan believes that O’Gara will return to Ireland when the “right job” becomes available to him.
O’Gara enjoyed a legendarily successful spell with the Ireland rugby team during his playing career. The former fly-half remains Ireland’s record points scorer (1083) and is the second most-capped player for the team behind only Brian O’Driscoll.
He managed to win four Triple Crowns and a Grand Slam during his time with the men in green.
O’Gara also spent 16 years with Munster, helping the province win two Heineken Cups in 2006 and 2008.
O’Gara called time on his playing tenure in 2013 and began working on his coaching career.
The Irishman took up various coaching positions during his spells with Racing 92 and the Crusaders before finally taking up his current role as La Rochelle’s head coach.
O’Gara’s impressive exploits with the French side in the Top 14 has prompted speculation that he could end up returning to take charge of Munster or the Ireland national team in the future.
Lenihan on O’Gara.
Lenihan, speaking on the RTE Rugby Podcast, shared his thoughts on the possibility of O’Gara returning to take charge of Munster.
“That’s the golden ticket but it’s also the easy solution,” Lenihan said.
“Unless you get the foundations right and unless you get the pathways working towards the top team, it’s not going to change.
“And O’Gara knows that better than (anyone). There is a guy who has taken the hard route. He could have been involved with Munster years ago if he wanted.
“He’s gone away, he’s educating himself, he’s exposing himself to different experiences. Ronan O’Gara will come back to Ireland when it’s the right time for Ronan O’Gara to do so.
“Not because Munster have a crisis here and now or not because there is a vacancy within the Irish set-up or in Leinster or whatever. He will pick his moment.
“He will come back to Ireland, but he’ll come back for the right job for him. There’s no question he’s done a fantastic job.”