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O'Gara facing disciplinary hearing before La Rochelle host Leinster

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Xavier Leoty/AFP via Getty Images)

Ronan O’Gara is set for another disciplinary hearing in France after match officials again took exception to his alleged bad behaviour at a Top 14 match.

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It was 14 months ago when he was suspended for six weeks and his club La Rochelle fined €10,000 after he was charged with disrespecting a match official following a September 2022 win at Lyon.

That sanction was reached after a disciplinary hearing took into account the Irishman’s previous run-ins with officials in France and that record will potentially be a factor again at his next hearing on December 6.

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Johnnie Beattie discusses what Ronan O’Gara needs to change about his coaching style | Le French Rugby Pod

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Johnnie Beattie discusses what Ronan O’Gara needs to change about his coaching style | Le French Rugby Pod

The latest trouble he has become embroiled in took place last Sunday when 14-man La Rochelle were beaten at Racing, his old club.

A Ligue Nationale de Rugby statement read: “At the end of the above-mentioned meeting [Racing vs La Rochelle], the match officials appointed at that meeting reported the behaviour of Ronan O’GARA, coach of Stade Rochelais.

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“The situation in question is likely to constitute a violation of the general regulations of the NRL and the FFR. Ronan O’Gara and the Stade Rochelais club have been summoned to appear before the disciplinary and disciplinary committee at its meeting on December 6. O’Gara is not suspended pending this hearing.”

La Rochelle were beaten 32-10 at Racing in a game where they lost Teddy Thomas to a 25th-minute red card, a dismissal that was followed a minute later by the sin-binning of Pierre Bourgarit in a first half that ended with O’Gara’s team trailing 24-3.

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Next week’s disciplinary hearing will take place four days before La Rochelle host Leinster in the opening round of this season’s Investec Champions Cup.

The French club have beaten their Irish rivals in knockout games the past three seasons, starting with the 2021 semi-final and followed by the 2022 and 2023 finals in Marseille and Dublin.

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