Ronan O’Gara to Bring an Irish Voice to Crusaders Coaching Group

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Union Bordeaux Begles (UBB) Vs Racing 92
BORDEAUX, FRANCE - AUGUST 20: Racing 92 assistant coach Ronan O'Gara looks on before the French Top 14 union match between Union Bordeaux Begles and Racing 92 at Stade Chaban-Delmas on August 20, 2016 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images)

The Crusaders Super Rugby franchise has made a new appointment to their coaching group. To be added in 2018, he is surprisingly not a local son [as has been the norm]. He is former Ireland International player, Ronan O’Gara.

Currently assisting at French Top 14 side Racing 92 – where Daniel Carter plies his trade. He will leave his role as assistant coach at the end of this year, to become the new backs coach for the BNZ Crusaders; replacing Leon MacDonald.

Ronan O’Gara to Bring an Irish Voice to Crusaders Coaching Group

In a press release, BNZ Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said the appointment was hugely exciting for the Crusaders team and fans.

“Ronan O’Gara is one of rugby’s international super-stars.  He was a brilliant player and has gone on to prove himself as an outstanding coach with Racing 92 in Paris. The international experience and exceptional skillset that Ronan can bring to this team is fantastic.

“We know that Crusaders fans will be excited to have someone of his calibre joining our coaching group.”

The appointment follows the naming of the 38 man squad on November 1st. The group will now know who will guide them. Head coach Scott Robertson, assistant Brad Mooar and forwards coach, Jason Ryan.

Sam Whitelock and Head Coach Scott Robertson of the Crusaders (L-R) look on during a Crusaders training session at Rugby Park. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Robertson said he was thrilled to have O’Gara joining the coaching team: “The skills and international experience that Ronan brings is the perfect complement to our current coaching group. We are lucky to have the continuity of Brad and Jason in their roles.

“Ronan will bring his fresh perspective and new ideas, which is always welcomed.”

French club Racing granted O’Gara an early release from his contract, and the respected backs coach will bring his talents; and his family, downunder.

Ronan O’Gara Brings a Wealth of Player and Coaching Ability

“I am immensely grateful to the Racing 92 club for their understanding and cooperation in allowing me an early release to take up this Crusaders role. It is not easy to walk away from the club that gave me my first break in coaching and I will miss all of those I have been lucky enough to work with there.

This is an exciting next step in my coaching career though and one that my family and I are ready to make. It is clear that there is a special and successful culture at the Crusaders, which I feel honoured to be invited to be a part of,” was the statement from O’Gara.

“New Zealand sets the bar in world rugby, and Super Rugby is recognized as one of the toughest international rugby tournaments. So to coach in New Zealand – for the current Super Rugby champions – is an enticing prospect for any coach.

“I cannot wait to join Scott Robertson, Brad Mooar and Jason Ryan in the BNZ Crusaders coaching group and to work with the outstanding group of players we have,” Ronan O’Gara said.

O’Gara will join the BNZ Crusaders from the new year.

 

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