McCaw backs O'Gara to succeed at Crusaders

    2017-11-23 12:32

    Cape Town - All Blacks legend Richie McCaw says Ronan O'Gara will succeed as backline coach at New Zealand powerhouse the Crusaders

    Former Ireland international and British and Irish Lion, O'Gara vacates his role as assistant coach of French side Racing 92 and will join the Crusaders in the 2018 Super Rugby season.

    O'Gara will replace Leon MacDonald and become the first Crusaders coaching appointment from outside New Zealand. 

    McCaw is excited to see how O'Gara performs in New Zealand. 

    "It's quite exciting from a Crusaders point of view to have a first Northern Hemisphere influence," McCaw told the Irish Independent

    "I'm guessing that the time Ronan had at Racing around guys like Dan Carter and Casey Laulala, he felt it was the right place to go. The Crusaders boys will ask the same questions. There is no doubt that he has a pretty good rugby brain and he will bring new ideas that the Crusaders boys will be keen to hear."

    McCaw thinks O'Gara will also embrace the culture of the Crusaders. 

    "The Crusaders are traditionally the most successful franchise in Super Rugby. The culture and what the team stands for has been pretty well set up right from day one, led by guys like Wayne Smith and Todd Blackadder. 

    "It's got a great culture, it's just come off winning the last Super Rugby. It's a pretty successful franchise that do things pretty damn well.

    "It's always a 'team comes first before the individual' type team. That's the ethos of the team. He will come into the team like that."

    The former All Blacks captain also says the Crusaders will benefit from O'Gara's experience.

    "The guys there are always driven to be better and will want to pick Ronan's brain for experiences.

    "I think it will be great. I'm sure he'll have different ways of looking at things, he'll probably take a while to see how the Crusaders work.

    "It's not as if he's coming in as head coach. He's obviously got his philosophy on how the team goes and build on what they did last year... having O'Gara there to add something different is a pretty good move."

    O'Gara will join the Crusaders next month and he is eager to get started

    "This is an exciting next step in my coaching career and one that my family and I are ready to make," he said.

    "It is clear that there is a special and successful culture at the Crusaders, which I feel honoured to be invited to be a part of."

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