Former Ireland stand off Ronan O’Gara is poised for a new challenge with the French international side.
The 42 year old is currently with Super Rugby outfit Canterbury Crusaders. However, his contract ends in July, allowing him to join France for the World Cup.
According to the French rugby publication, Midi Olympique, the French Federation will confirm O’Gara’s appointment this week.
The paper claims that O’Gara has spoken to French Federation president Bernard Laporte. And it believes that he has also been in contact with under fire head coach Jacques Brunel.
O’Gara has experience of French rugby, having been at Racing 92 as defence coach before joining Crusaders.
Before moving into coaching, he played for Munster. He was with the Irish province throughout his 16 year professional career. In addition to earning 128 international caps, he toured three times with the British & Irish Lions.
O’Gara turned down a one year extension at Munster to take a coaching position at Racing in 2013. He subsequently moved to New Zealand to join Crusaders.
The French Federation could unveil O’Gara as assistant to Brunel as early as this week. He would work alongside Jean-Marc Béderède, the current defence coach.
There is also speculation that Fabien Galthié could join the French coaching set-up. He refused to be drawn when asked about his future in a television interview at the weekend. His appointment might not happen until after the World Cup. He is likely to be assistant to a new head coach. Warren Gatland is among the front runners for that job.
Written by Colin Renton