Ronan O’Gara is currently starting a new chapter in his coaching career as the assistant coach with the Crusaders.
The Munster and Ireland legend made the move from Racing 92 where he had been coaching for the last number of years to take up a role with Scott Robertson’s side who were crowned Super Rugby champions in 2017 after a dramatic final win over South African side, The Lions.
For O’Gara, the initial one-year contract will undoubtedly make him a better coach as he gets to experience a whole new culture and environment with the Christchurch based outfit. What lies beyond that, however, is anyone’s guess.
Munster supporters are almost unequivocal in their desire to see the prodigal son return to take up the reins of the southern province but O’Gara had seemed to rule that out in an interview given to the NZ Herald.
“I enjoyed playing in Munster but I don’t think coaching the players you played with is a good idea. I didn’t want that so there’s not a big draw to ever go back there.
“If the opportunity with Ireland presents itself it’s a different decision. At the minute I’m at a massive club with a big responsibility and something that really interests me. I enjoy the day-to-day coaching and interaction with the players and international rugby is very different. You need to be hugely experienced to do that and I’m not that.”
O’Gara further clarified those comments, however, in quotes given to The42 whereby he stated that once the players he is familair with at Munster are gone, then he would be interested in coaching his native province.
“Coaching the players I played with, for me, is not a good idea but coaching Munster when those players are gone is something that hugely interests me,” he told The42.
“If that opportunity didn’t arrive, it wouldn’t bother me but I would love to coach Munster.”
You get the sense from the Cork man that he won’t take up a particular role unless he fully believes that he is ready to do so but the comments surrounding the Munster job in the future will be disappointing to supporters of the southern province. However, it may be the case that O’Gara may change his thinking once the link between him and the current squad no longer exists.
– This article was updated at 4.45pm with additional quotes from Ronan O’Gara provided by The42 to clarify previous comments he had made to New Zealand media.