Off The Ball
Off The Ball

18.26 11 Aug 2016


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Ronan O'Gara says his long-term dream is to one day work in the Irish coaching setup - but emphasises that it is not a short or medium term goal. 

After a "rollercoaster" season at Racing Metro in 2015-16 with matches coming thick and fast every weekend, the Paris-based coach and ex-Munster and Ireland legend who has a contract at Racing until 2019, chatted to Off The Ball

When asked about a future ambition to coach in Ireland again, O'Gara says it's a long-term target as he finds his feet as a coach.

"Yeah of course I would, definitely. But it's not short or medium term, that's for sure," he said, adding that he does chat to current Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt regularly.

"Once you get to chat to him for the first time, I suppose his warmness grows in you and his knowledge of the game always leaves the thought in your head that you seem fascinated with and you want to return the call." 

With occasional speculation about Schmidt's future and a possible return to New Zealand, O'Gara doesn't expect that to happen and also praised his contribution to Irish rugby.

"I don't think he will go back but he would be a massive loss because he's taken Irish rugby to a place where it's probably never been consistently and also you have to respect what players say. You don't want the players having too much power. I think you always have to respect the people who have earned the right to speak within their teams and senior players in Leinster and in Ireland when they say the things they say about their coach, you have to listen. I think it's just great being on the outside, admiring the work he's done and continues to do."

O'Gara also spoke about how ex-All-Black wing Joe Rokocoko has rekindled his best form after moving to Racing last season and talked about the "surreal" prospect of Racing facing his home province of Munster in next season's European Champions Cup pool stages.

"It'll be incredible because I know the Munster supporters will come out," he said, adding that "it's great" from his own point of view.


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