Ronan O’Gara On His Situation With The IRFU & Re-Signing With La Rochelle
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Ronan O’Gara has revealed that he did not hold any talks with the IRFU about a potential national or provincial role before re-signing with La Rochelle last month.
O’Gara recently signed a brand new three-year role with the French side, earning a promotion in the process with Director of Rugby Jonno Gibbes set to join Clermont next season.
But while a return to Irish Rugby is inevitable for the former Munster outhalf at some stage in his career, the 44-year-old has admitted no approach was made before he signed his new deal, although he did not seek out a conversation either way.
Speaking to Virgin Media ahead of La Rochelle’s Champions Cup semi-final clash against Leinster this weekend, O’Gara said he has a good relationship with the likes of Ireland boss Andy Farrell and Munster head coach Johann van Graan.
“I enjoy plenty of aspects in La Rochelle, there are plenty of challenges in the club as well. There were other opportunities to go elsewhere, but I had another year left on my contract as well,” O’Gara said.
“I’m old school in that regard. I think it’s important if you sign a contract and give your word that you commit to that…
“No, no, no [the opportunities didn’t come from Ireland].
“To be fair to Munster, I have chatted to a few members in the organisation. It’s a club I have huge time for obviously, but where I’m looking at it from the outside it looks very different.
“I think it’s important for me that I get as much experience and as much enjoyment out of the game, so that wasn’t an option to go to an Irish team.
“That works both ways. I didn’t show any interest either so we can’t say that approaches weren’t made. I have a good relationship with both Andy Farrell, Johan van Graan and people in Munster. There are no hard feelings either way…
“I have transitioned and I am finished my learning stage as a coach, now I’m implementing what I want to do. I’m only in the infancy of that stage and I enjoy it, it’s very exciting where I am now.
“In terms of the decision to sign on [at La Rochelle], it just made a lot of sense.”