Cape Town - New
Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O'Gara is enjoying working with
flyhalf Richie Mo'unga, whom he believes has 'incredible potential'.
Former British & Irish Lions and Ireland flyhalf O'Gara was a
big fan of Mitre 10 Cup rugby last year, not realising that chance would
intervene and he would find himself coaching in New Zealand less than
four months later.
O'Gara, who had been on the coaching team at Racing 92 in Paris, said
he watched the New Zealand provincial series last year because of the
quality of rugby the sides produced so regularly.
Canterbury's success in that tournament, and the win of the Crusaders
in Super Rugby, has the Irishman looking to learn plenty during an
initial one-year stint in Christchurch.
He's already aware of the ability of incumbent flyhalf Richie Mo'unga and is keen to contribute to his advance.
The first thing he would be doing is getting to know the person, and then the player.
"He has incredible potential, sometimes the potential doesn't
transfer into reality, but I think with his attitude it could easily so
we've just got to make sure we keep on top of that," said O'Gara.
"He's a freak with the ball in hand, I suppose he has the capacity to
beat defenders which wouldn't necessarily 10 years ago been an
attribute of a first five but that happens with Beauden Barrett now and I
think other 10s are watching him and how he beats defenders but Richie
does it equally as well and he's just a really exciting player.
"You forget how young he is but the next challenge for him is can he
consistently produce at Test level and after that comes a different set
"So there's building blocks for everyone no matter what level you're
at. I think that's the great thing about understanding the players, if
you're Kieran Read or Sam Whitelock, they still, because they are
competitors always look to get better and it is important that coaches