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O'Gara banned and fined at the first of two disciplinary hearings

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

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La Rochelle boss Ronan O’Gara has been banned from matchday coaching duties for the upcoming two-legged Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 tie with Bordeaux. The ex-Ireland international was called before a Ligue Nationale de Rugby disciplinary hearing regarding the allegation of contesting the decision of the match officials during the recent Top 14 win over Racing 92, his former club.

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O’Gara was found responsible for the alleged indiscipline and now won’t have a hands-on matchday role for the away-and-home European clashes versus Bordeaux, starting next Saturday. 

An LNR statement read: “Ronan O’Gara was found responsible for ‘indiscipline’ and in particular for ‘contesting the decisions of match officials. Consequently, taking into account in particular the disciplinary record of O’Gara, he was sanctioned with a two-week suspension and a €1,000 fine.

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“This penalty has the effect of revoking the fine of €1,000 accompanied by the suspended sentence imposed by the commission on November 3, 2021, against O’Gara. Consequently, given the schedule of La Rochelle matches on April 6, O’Gara will be re-qualified on April 17.

“Under article 65 of the LNR’s general regulations, La Rochelle were fined €10,000, including €5,000 with a fully suspended sentence.”

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The worrying thing for O’Gara is that he will come before the disciplinary committee again next Wednesday to answer a charge arising from last Saturday night’s events in the La Rochelle Top 14 league match at Bordeaux. The LNR statement at Tuesday outlining that he will have a hearing on April 13 read: “At the end of the meeting between Bordeaux and La Rochelle, the citing commissioner, as well as the referees number four and number five, reported the behaviour of O’Gara, the La Rochelle coach.  

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“The situation in question is likely to constitute an infringement of the general regulations of the LNR and the FFR. O’Gara and the La Rochelle club are summoned before the disciplinary and rules committee at its meeting on Wednesday, April 13.”

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