Ronan O’Gara – “It’s Such A Massive, Massive Competition… You’re Judged On a World Cup”

Change is needed.

Former Ireland and Munster outhalf Ronan O’Gara reckons something needs to change with Ireland under Andy Farrell ahead of the next Rugby World Cup because it’s clear to see they simply haven’t got the cycle right yet.

O’Gara reckons Ireland have time yet because as far as he is concerned you need to really attack a World Cup around 18-24 months out from a World Cup.

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“Probably 18-24 months [out] you’ve got to start attacking a World Cup,” O’Gara said on Virgin Media.

“But If we always do, what we always have done, you’ll always get what you always got. So something has to change. We haven’t got the cycle right up to this point.

The problem though is O’Gara reckons the players don’t seem to have learned any lessons from Japan based on their comments over the last few weeks.

“You’d wonder what lessons they have received from this World Cup because reading some of the comments it seems that… I’m not too sure they’re aware (the players), of the underperformance,” O’Gara added.

“12 months ago we demolished, it’s a strong word but I was in the ground that night when they beat New Zealand (in November 2018) and what a performance.

“But contrast that to 2019 – it wasn’t really anything unlucky at the World Cup, there were underperformances probably against Wales and England in the Six Nations, and obviously the big one was the World Cup [warm-up] performance against England and that flowed into the World Cup.”

But the biggest thing for O’Gara, who has spent time coaching in New Zealand and France, is the fact that he doesn’t think that Ireland realises that outside of Ireland they are solely judged on how they perform on the World’s stage every four years.

“It’s such a massive, massive competition… You’re judged on a World Cup. But I don’t know do we really realise that.”