Ronan O'Gara rules himself out of Connacht race

Ronan O'Gara rules himself out of Connacht race

By Tony Leen

Ronan O'Gara has ruled himself out of contention for the Connacht head coaching job vacated by Pat Lam.

Paris-based O'Gara is one of the bookies' favourites to replace Lam, but in his column for Friday's Examiner Sport, he reveals that the province has not made contact with him - and if they had, he would be politely declining.

"It’s just too early for me to consider something like that at home," O'Gara writes. "At this point, I don’t want to give up what we have at Racing 92, I am too interested in it, too much invested in it just to up sticks."

He also states: "Racing were in the final of the European Cup and won the Top 14 last season. It doesn’t get much better than that. And that didn’t materialise overnight, there’s more than three years' work gone into that.

"I am 39 now. I have time.

"If I was going home to Ireland, it mightn’t even be for coaching. Nobody should pigeon-hole themselves into career boxes.

"My job now is getting Racing 92’s players to perform. Other people decide how well I do my job.

“For Pat Lam, Bristol decided he was doing just the sort of job they required to move forward. And they were ready to pay big for the pleasure. It was an opportunity the New Zealander had to take."

Oddsmakers BoyleSports report fresh market support for O'Gara's fellow Top 14-based Irish coach, Bernard Jackman.

The ex-Leinster man has made a significant impression as head coach at Grenoble and his stock has risen internationally as a result.

He is regarded as a better bet to replace Lam than Jonno Gibbes, who has been the subject of Connacht speculation this week.

*Read Ronan O'Gara's brilliant column in the print edition of Friday's Irish Examiner.

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