IRISH RUGBY LEGEND Ronan O'Gara has admitted that he would be eager to take over Ireland one day but also added that he would have to earn the role.
Last weekend, the Cork native masterminded another last-gasp victory over Leinster in the Champions Cup.
Leinster went into the break with a 17-0 lead after scoring three tries in 12 minutes in a scintillating start, but the Top14 managed to claw their way back into the game.
La Rochelle dominated the second half, and just like last year, George Henri Colombe's late try meant that Leinster would once again be denied a fifth star on their jersey. The win also meant Ronan O'Gara's reputation as one of the best rugby coaches in world rugby increased even further.
🗣️ 'Of course you want to coach Ireland! That's always been the goal!'
Ronan O'Gara has confirmed his ambition is to coach Ireland, but is not looking too far down the road at the moment | ☘️
🎙️ @ashoreilly@VodafoneIreland | #TeamOfUs pic.twitter.com/a1BcWhs3BP
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) May 20, 2023
The former Irish outhalf in the past has never hidden his desire to coach at the international level, with England being one of his possible destinations in the future.
However, after La Rochelle's dramatic comeback in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, O'Gara admitted that the Ireland job would entice him, but he would have to earn it.
"Of course, you want to coach Ireland. That's always been the goal, but I think what you do gets you that job. There are no hard luck stories," said the Munster legend to OffTheBall on Saturday.
"If you're the best candidate and you're not someone else, you get it. I'm giving it my best shot. I must admit that I am enjoying the journey. I put a huge emphasis on having a healthy family and me being healthy, and I don't really look long-term."
O'Gara, who is contracted to La Rochelle until 2027, will have to wait a while, though, as Andy Farrell is doing an excellent job in the current Ireland set up, and any talk of a replacement will have to wait until after the World Cup at least.