Ronan O’Gara, speaking at the Irish Examiner Rugby World Cup Tournament Preview last Monday, has said there are “question marks” over the make-up of New Zealand’s best backline, as Steve Hansen’s side prepare for their Pool B showdown against South Africa on Saturday.
O’Gara is well acquainted with a number of players in the New Zealand squad, having spent two seasons with Super Rugby side Crusaders as their backs coach. The current La Rochelle coach worked with the likes of Sevu Reece and George Bridge during his time with Crusaders.
Speaking of Reece, O’Gara said the 22-year-old winger “would never have contemplated” the prospect of starting in a Rugby World Cup, but O’Gara always believed he had a good chance of making an impact in Japan.
With just three All Blacks caps to his name, his first coming just last July, Reece’s rapid rise sees him go into the Rugby World Cup as one of the favourites to be the tournament’s top try-scorer.
O’Gara described the pair as “very, very humble people” and added that they have the faith of Head Coach Steve Hansen to peak for the tournament.