Ronan O'Gara has reportedly turned down the England job and has signed a new three-year contract extension with La Rochelle

Ronan O'Gara has reportedly turned down the England job and has signed a new three-year contract extension with La Rochelle

REPORTS HAVE EMERGED THIS WEEK that La Rochelle’s director of rugby Ronan O'Gara will turn down the England job to sign a new three-year contract extension at his current club. 

O'Gara has become one of the most sought after coaches in world rugby for his work with the southwestern French club and seemingly decided to stay in France. 

The former Ireland player led La Rochelle to their first Heineken Champions Cup by beating Leinster last year. This year they are second in the Top 14. 

Recently Links and rumours emerged that O'Gara would be interested in talking over from Eddie Jones when the Australian eventually walks away from England.

Speaking to The Times last month, the Munster legend said: “It’s a huge job. There’s probably a lot involved with it, and you’d have to be very firm with what your criteria are and what your role is. When you strip it all back, essentially you want to be winning games, but you need a strong support network around you to be put in that position.

“I would be thorough in my approach; in terms of what country you'd like to coach. There are a handful that jump out straight away.”

Jones' tenure as England boss seems to be coming to an end after a string of poor results and according to French rugby publication Rugbyrama,O'Gara will not replace him after months of speculation .

The likes of Scott Robertson and Steve Borthwick are being lined up to succeed Jones after the 2023 World Cup in France.

O’Gara added last week “Well I don’t know about a shortlist, but I have spoken to a few people. I suppose it’s a possibility but I don’t know where I am in the pecking order.

“You want to probably have a very, very good reason to leave. I don’t have that."

"I’m obviously in decision mode between now and Christmas because that is what happens with coaches.

"They always want to be done six months before the last year of contracts. That would be next season, I would be in my last year of my contract here, so I have to decide if I want to stick to club rugby or if there are options to go to the Test game.”

However the alleged new deal will see O'Gara stay in France until 2027. 

Rugbyrama in their article says: “Given the recent results of Stade Rochelais in the European Cup, this is excellent news for Vincent Merling’s club… The least we can say is that Ronan O’Gara (45 years old, 128 caps) is a courted man: French champion with Racing 92 in the spring of 2016, winner of Super Rugby with the Crusaders two years later, and last May the former Irish out-half became a European champion with Stade Rochelais.

“Since then, his CV has left no one indifferent… and especially not the great nations of this game.

"England, who are looking for a successor to Eddie Jones, for example recently made eyes at ROG and asked about it, he told the British media: ‘Of course, I would be interested in such a post. It would be huge’.

“But according to our information, the native of Cork is about to take a completely different path.

"The leaders of Stade Rochelais are firmly determined to keep their manager who has been at the club since 2019 and whose technical qualities are unanimously praised by the players.

“For his part, Ronan O’Gara would not be insensitive to repeated visits from Vincent Merling, Stade Rochelais’ president, and Pierre Venayre, the club’s general manager.

"Therefore, will the Munsterman extend his contract in Charente-Maritime and turn his back on the sirens of the international circuit?

“This is what is taking shape at the moment. A three-year contract, which would keep the Irish coach until the 2027 World Cup, is simply awaiting the signature of the person concerned. Case closed, it seems…"