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Dan Carter shares some of Ronan O'Gara's lighter moments

By RugbyPass

Former All Black Dan Carter has shed light on his relationship with long-time rival, colleague and friend Ronan O’Gara.


Carter and O’Gara matched up on the world stage playing for New Zealand and Ireland respectively before joining forces at French club Racing 92, where O’Gara coached from 2013 to 2017 and Carter currently has plied his trade since 2015.

“It was his first coaching experience and being a true Munster man, he had that real competitive spirit,” Carter told RugbyPass.

“It was a similar environment, I felt, from talking to him about his Munster days, similar to a Crusaders environment. It was all about winning, it was all about excellence and the expectation was always to win, to be winning titles.

“He brought that to Racing and that was always his mindset. There are just so many similarities between his mindset and the way things were done in the Crusaders.”

O’Gara joined Carter’s former Super Rugby club as an assistant coach in 2018.

“They were looking for someone to fill Leon MacDonald’s spot. They obviously asked a little bit about Ronan, his character, his coaching ability, things like that,” Carter said.


“It was just such a natural fit, because, I think of that similarity between the Munster system and the Crusaders system. He’s a top man, I worked really closely with him for a couple of years at Racing.

“He’s a young coach that’s still developing. From my experience, having all of my development in New Zealand I thought it would be perfect for him.”

“He’ll add his ideas to the Crusaders, but at the same time he’ll be learning so much and I think it’s a great opportunity for him to grow his knowledge and build up his experience,” Carter continued.

“At the same time, he’s got that drive and that passion to want to be the best and help his players be the best so hopefully that’ll rub off on the Crusaders this year.”


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Carter also shared some of the lighter moments between the pair, including the irony of O’Gara’s role with Racing.

“There was plenty of banter between the two of us. He was the defence coach at Racing, whereas when we’d [the All Blacks] play Ireland we’d attack down his channel. How can you be defence coach when our whole game plan was ‘run down your channel’? That was quite hard case,” said Carter.

The 36-year-old also revealed that despite O’Gara’s mastery of several languages, he could still be near impossible to understand.

“He actually could speak French, so he would do all of the translations. But then he would translate French into his Cork accent and then you’d almost need someone to translate his Cork accent to English so you could understand.”

Carter’s stint with Racing will end at the conclusion of the Top 14 season. He will then join Japanese Top League side Kobelco Steelers on a two-year deal.

41-year-old O’Gara hung up his boots in 2013 as Ireland’s second most capped player and highest points scorer.

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