The Absolutely Brilliant Ronan O’Gara Interview That Has Everybody Talking

Keep Ball Alive.

When it comes to up and coming rugby coaches – there aren’t too many out there that excite people more than Ronan O’Gara.

The former Ireland and Munster outhalf has been coaching since 2013 but has taken his time to learn his craft and the fruits of his labour are really starting to show at La Rochelle.

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The 44-year-old began as a kicking coach at Racing 92, moving up to become their defence coach before taking a bold leap to become assistant coach to the Crusaders in New Zealand.

He also helped out with Ireland in between to give himself a taste of coaching at international level alongside Joe Schmidt before taking the reigns at La Rochelle in 2019 in his first head coach role.

It’s been an interesting journey so far for the Corkman but his patience and willingness to take himself outside of his comfort zone has turned him into a highly coveted coach that many Munster and Irish fans hope will someday return home.

His interview after La Rochelle’s impressive win over Gloucester on Friday night had rugby fans in complete awe as he explained his rugby philosophy and how it has developed through Munster, French and New Zealand influences.

“It’s a mindset,” O’Gara said when BT Sport’s Martin Bayfield asked him about La Rochelle’s stunning offloading game.

“That interests me hugely. There’s a massive ruck focus in the northern hemisphere and then when you go to the Crusaders it’s K.B.A – Keep Ball Alive. And that’s something I’m interested in myself.

“You’ve seen tonight, in the dry conditions, you don’t even have to think about catching or passing – you can do that. So we’re trying to have speed on the passing and keeping it alive.

“There’s a risk with that, at times, but you have to weigh up the risk in reward. We were good, at times, and inaccurate, at times, but that’s the beauty of our game.”

O’Gara also highlighted the importance of heads-up rugby, something that has been missing from Irish Rugby in recent years.

“There’s a big emphasis on identifying space,” he said.

“So we look at going through them or outside them, or [putting] the ball in the air if they’ve 14 in the frontline. There’s always decisions to be made and that’s something that you won’t always get right, but if you get most of them right, you have a good chance.”

Check out the interview in full below.