Former Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara extends Canterbury Crusaders contract

Former Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara has extended his contract as assistant coach with the Canterbury Crusaders until after the 2019 Super Rugby season, the team said on Thursday.

O’Gara joined the Crusaders ahead of the 2018 season on a one-year contract after leaving his role as an assistant at French club Racing 92.

“I’m delighted to be extending my contract for another season,” the former British and Irish Lions player said in a statement.

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“I have always been an admirer of rugby in New Zealand and to get the opportunity to work with a club like the Crusaders is a fantastic experience.

“Besides being a great bunch of guys to work with, the professionalism of everyone associated with the club is incredible. It’s no wonder this part of the world has the success they do.

“I’m delighted my wife and family have come on this journey with me and I’m really looking forward to working with everyone again next season.”

Last year’s champions sit comfortably at the top of the Super Rugby table on 54 points and should seal home advantage throughout the playoffs when the final three weeks of the regular season resume after the international break.

Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson said O’Gara’s contribution has been immense.

“Ronan’s coaching style has been hugely valuable to us in just his first season with the club,” Robertson said.

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“He has quickly formed great relationships with our playing group, and has effective means of passing on his knowledge which really resonates with the team.

“We hoped at the start of the season that Ronan would provide us with a new perspective in 2018, and he has done exactly that.

“He brings fresh eyes and knowledge to the coaching group and we are certainly seeing the benefits of his extensive skillset and experience.

“We’re pleased that Ronan and his family are settled in Christchurch and he’ll continue his important contribution in 2019.”

The Crusaders face a French Barbarians side in Christchurch on Friday.