Ronan O’Gara has insisted he is still nowhere near to becoming involved with the France team at the 2019 World Cup, adding that he’d much prefer to be on Scott Robertson’s All Blacks coaching ticket if the Crusaders boss wins the race to succeed Steve Hansen as New Zealand boss.
French media reported on Friday that there has allegedly been talks during the week between the Irishman and French boss Jacques Brunel.
However, the Crusaders assistant suggested in a New Zealand radio interview on Saturday that this wasn’t the case and his focus is firmly on his work with the Super Rugby side who next weekend will play their first home match in Christchurch since the March 15 terror attacks that left 50 people dead in the city.
“There was one or two approaches from an agent, that’s as far we’ve got. As anyone knows I have an amount of work to do here, which is really important to me, and if there is anything Razor [Robertson] and the Crusaders would be the first to know about it,” said O’Gara to Radio Sport NZ, adding that he aspires to potentially joining the All Blacks if Robertson ever makes the step-up.
“Exactly, exactly,” he said when quizzed about a possible All Blacks approach, before returning to speaking about his current role at the Crusaders.
From @radiosportnz this morning: Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O’Gara told me he will not be coaching France at @rugbyworldcup . Says he has plenty of work to do with @crusadersrugby. Asked if he wanted to coach @AllBlacks with Scott Robertson he said “exactly, exactly”.
— Jim Kayes (@JimKayes) March 30, 2019
“You just keep working, keep trying to get the best out of the boys, that is what my short term goal is. I love being involved with a club on a daily basis where you persistent and continuous challenges. That is exactly where my focus is. It’s not a distraction. These are all conversations that happen. Next week it will be someone else.”
Midi had claimed that “Brunel and O’Gara traded earlier this week”, adding that the French coach had also been in touch with Laurent Labit, one of O’Gara’s former bosses at Racing from 2013 to 2018.
Fresh from their comprehensive win over Hurricanes, a visit from the Brumbies is next on the list for the Crusaders, a match that will help restore some normality to life in the still-grieving city.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 29, 2019
“I had been in Paris (when the attacks happened there) and it is after hitting me like a pile of bricks,” said O’Gara about the deadly shootings at two Christchurch mosques. “What has helped is the reaction of the people. People at local level, there is a great uniqueness to the reaction in the unity with something so tragic, people have really reconnected.
“Kids are resilient and kids get on with it,” he continued, referencing his own young family’s reaction to the attacks. “That’s the great thing about it. It could have happened anywhere in the world and unfortunately it happened in Christchurch. You have to try and get back to normality as quickly as possible.”
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