Monday 17 June 2019

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Bienvenue Ronan...again!

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 5:10pm

Ronan O'Gara is making a return to this side of the world after confirming he has accepted a coaching role with French Top 14 side, La Rochelle.

The Bishopstown native confirmed yesterday that this will be his last season at New Zealand side the Crusaders and that he will return to France for La Rochelle's new season in the autumn. O'Gara was a defence coach with Paris-based Racing 92 from 2013-2017 before making the move to New Zealand.

He said: “My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Christchurch and were welcomed in to the Crusaders family with open arms when we arrived in early 2018. This is one of the best rugby clubs in the world, and it certainly wasn’t an easy decision to move on from this team and their high-performance environment.

“I’m grateful to the Crusaders for the faith they’ve shown in me as a coach, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have worked alongside a world-class playing and management group for the last two seasons. While I see this move to La Rochelle as the next step in my coaching career and an exciting opportunity for my young family, I’d like to think, long-term, this is not necessarily the end of my time with the Crusaders. My focus now is helping to deliver a successful 2019 campaign with the side before my family and I return to France at the end of the season.”

O'Gara replaced Leon MacDonald as the Crusaders’ backs coach in 2018, helping guide the side to a consecutive Super Rugby titles, and then re-signed for the 2019 campaign. The Crusaders are currently top of the Super Rugby standings with 11 wins in 16 games so far this season.

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