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O'Gara shares dream of winning RWC, but not necessarily with Ireland

By Josh Raisey
Ronan O'Gara /PA

La Rochelle boss Ronan O’Gara has set his sights on winning a World Cup in the future as a coach.

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The 128-cap former Ireland international has won the biggest prizes in the club game from back-to-back Super Rugby titles as an assistant coach at the Crusaders to leading La Rochelle to back-to-back Investec Champions Cups, and now has the Webb Ellis Cup in his crosshairs.

Speaking on the “Super Moscato Show” on French radio station RMC, he made it quite clear that he wants to win the international trophy that eluded him as a player, but isn’t fussed who he wins it with.

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The Munster legend is viewed by many as the Ireland coach in waiting, but he said in the interview that he likes the idea of coaching France too.

O’Gara has not objected to the notion of coaching teams other than Ireland in the Test arena, and was even attracted to the England job following Eddie Jones’ sacking in 2022.

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“At the moment, I would like to have the ability to win the World Cup,” he said, as reported by French outlet Midi Olympique (translated by Google).

“I dream of winning things, whether with Ireland or I like France. I’m not French. I’m trying to prove myself and put my name in this debate. It’s possible that for Ireland, the next coach will be a New Zealander, a Southerner, African or an Australian, that’s how it is.”

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The idea of working under a coach in Test rugby is out of the question now for O’Gara, who said he now has the “taste” of being head coach.

“Being a member of the staff? No, I don’t think so,” he added.

“When you get a taste of the number 1 position, of these responsibilities, it’s difficult.”

Despite the huge success O’Gara has experienced on the west coast of France, he admitted that “everything is not good” currently after crashing out of the Champions Cup at the hands of Leinster and then losing to Castres at the weekend.

La Rochelle are clinging onto a play-off berth in the Top 14 by the skin of their teeth currently, placed in sixth, as they chase down a title they have never won in their history, let alone while O’Gara has been in charge.

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But the Irishman said that only La Rochelle and Toulouse have a culture of winning, which he hopes will help his side out as they reach the climax of the season.

“We have already won two European Cup titles but that is not enough , even if some think that is enough. I am a liar if I say that everything is good because everything is not good […] In the Top 14, it is in the crisis that you find something that you don’t know about your team.

“If we are not efficient, we will not be in the six. If we are, the only other team which has the culture of winning is Toulouse. But currently it is 70/30 against them, but if we reach the final, it will be 50/50 The other teams have not won titles and this liability will count in the rest of the competition.”

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D
Diarmid 10 hours ago
Players and referees must cut out worrying trend in rugby – Andy Goode

The guy had just beasted himself in a scrum and the blood hadn't yet returned to his head when he was pushed into a team mate. He took his weight off his left foot precisely at the moment he was shoved and dropped to the floor when seemingly trying to avoid stepping on Hyron Andrews’ foot. I don't think he was trying to milk a penalty, I think he was knackered but still switched on enough to avoid planting 120kgs on the dorsum of his second row’s foot. To effectively “police” such incidents with a (noble) view to eradicating play acting in rugby, yet more video would need to be reviewed in real time, which is not in the interest of the game as a sporting spectacle. I would far rather see Farrell penalised for interfering with the refereeing of the game. Perhaps he was right to be frustrated, he was much closer to the action than the only camera angle I've seen, however his vocal objection to Rodd’s falling over doesn't legitimately fall into the captain's role as the mouthpiece of his team - he should have kept his frustration to himself, that's one of the pillars of rugby union. I appreciate that he was within his rights to communicate with the referee as captain but he didn't do this, he moaned and attempted to sway the decision by directing his complaint to the player rather than the ref. Rugby needs to look closely at the message it wants to send to young players and amateur grassroots rugby. The best way to do this would be to apply the laws as they are written and edit them where the written laws no longer apply. If this means deleting laws such as ‘the put in to the scrum must be straight”, so be it. Likewise, if it is no longer necessary to respect the referee’s decision without questioning it or pre-emptively attempting to sway it (including by diving or by shouting and gesticulating) then this behaviour should be embraced (and commercialised). Otherwise any reference to respecting the referee should be deleted from the laws. You have to start somewhere to maintain the values of rugby and the best place to start would be giving a penalty and a warning against the offending player, followed by a yellow card the next time. People like Farrell would rapidly learn to keep quiet and let their skills do the talking.

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