Ronan O’Gara Is Absolutely Buzzing For Munster Ahead Of The New Season
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Missing piece of the puzzle.
It’s been a busy few months for Munster with the southern province working hard to get some huge deals over the line. PRO14 Player of the Year Tadhg Beirne has come in from Scarlets, Mike Haley from Sale Sharks, as well as Arno Both from London Irish.
But perhaps the biggest signing of them all came from just up the M50, with Joey Carbery swapping the blue of Leinster for the red of Munster in one of the biggest inter-provincial transfers in history.
Munster have done well in recent seasons, reaching two Champions Cup semi-finals, but have been lacking in a few key areas. One of those areas has been at ten, with Tyler Bleyendaal struggling with injuries, and Ian Keatley and JJ Hanrahan failing to take their chance.
One man who is absolutely buzzing about the signing is Ronan O’Gara – the last Munster outhalf to lead them to European glory.
“It’s brilliant,” O’Gara said at the launch of Virgin Media Television’s new season.
“I haven’t been as excited about it as this, I got a great buzz out of it because it’s Munster.”
O’Gara thinks Carbery could be exactly what Munster need to go all the way this season.
“…I think what’s important is the fact that people have recognised Joey is a very good player, so he’s going to get time in the jersey. And you get better the more time you get in the number 10 jersey for Munster.”
“So he needs to play games and it’s probably his to…if I was coach, it’s probably his to lose now because you have to give him the chance to grow, because he’s proven it for Leinster and Ireland. The kid can play.
“I think it could make a massive difference (for Munster’s chances of success), I genuinely do. They’re not far away. I think they have a few strategic decisions maybe to make in terms of how they want to play the game, to suit Earlsy (wing Keith Earls) and people like that, but it will be a very natural game to Joey because Conor (Murray) can do a lot of the kicking (from scrum-half).
We ran a piece not too long ago that looked at all the European winners over the last few years and what they all had in common – a world class operator at ten. Look at Toulon with Wilkinson and later Giteau. Saracens with Owen Farrell and most recently Leinster with Johnny Sexton.
It’s so important and O’Gara knows all to well both as a player, having done it for Munster time and time again, and as a coach (Richie Mo’unga was so key for him as the Crusaders won the Super Rugby title this year).
“But someone pointed out to me, the teams that have won the Champions Cup, it is an impressive list of out-halves that have been on those winning teams.” O’Gara added.
“So the key point is you need a very, very good 10, a great 10 even to win a European Cup.
“It is too early to say that about Joey Carbery but the potential is there.