Ronan O’Gara signs new five-year deal with European champions

La Rochelle head coach Ronan O’Gara smiles during a press conference. Credit: Alamy

Ronan O’Gara has signed a new five-year contract with European champions La Rochelle keeping him at the club until 2027.

The news effectively puts an end to any speculation that O’Gara will take on the role of England head coach, which was vacated following the dismissal of Eddie Jones yesterday.

The Irishman had an impressive path with the French side who beat Leinster in the Champions Cup final to claim glory last season.

Comfortable in La Rochelle

O’Gara and his family are happy on the French coast and are delighted with the “work-life balance” in his current role.

“My family and I feel very good here,” O’Gara told the official La Rochelle website.

“Work-life balance is very important to me. Vincent (Merling), Pierre (Venayre) and Robert (Mohr) let me know that they wanted to continue this adventure with me and I’m absolutely delighted. I love my group.

“Little by little, we are changing status and I am convinced that this is only the beginning. And then the supporters here are incredible.

“This passion that drives them, this support they have given me. Yes, I must say that all of this made my decision easier. It’s a great responsibility but also a lot of pride to continue here.

La Rochelle president Vincent Merling has welcomed O’Gara’s extension and expects more good ones to come under the Irishman’s tutelage.

“I am very happy and proud of Ronan’s extension, which is part of a sustainable performance objective,” he said. “Together, with our supporters, we have experienced great collective emotions and I am convinced that we will experience more in the seasons to come.”

Easy decision

Meanwhile, chief executive Pierre Venayre says the decision was simple for the club to offer an extension and underlines his ambition.

“Extending our collaboration with Ronan was obvious and a strong desire for us,” he said. “His commitment until 2027 confirms our perspectives and our sporting ambitions.”

La Rochelle sporting director Robert Mohr also expressed his joy at keeping O’Gara at the helm ahead of the Champions Cup opener against Northampton Saints at the weekend.

“I’m very happy with Ronan’s extension. We have found an organization that allows everyone to exploit their skills and assets for the benefit of Stade Rochelais.

READ MORE: Champions Cup: Toulouse star Pita Akhi expects another close clash against Munster

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