Mo’unga: Hard to understand but ROG has been awesome

All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo’unga has spoken about his debt of gratitude to former Crusaders coach Ronan O’Gara while admitting he barely understood a word the Corkman told him.

Mo’unga: Hard to understand but ROG has been awesome

All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo’unga has spoken about his debt of gratitude to former Crusaders coach Ronan O’Gara while admitting he barely understood a word the Corkman told him.

Mo’unga is one of four young Crusaders backs set to face Ireland tomorrow in Tokyo and he credited O’Gara, now head coach at La Rochelle, with giving him an insight into the Irish mentality.

“Yeah, ROG has been awesome. He’s still really hard to understand so I take very little from our conversations but what he is like, he’s very determined like all other Irish are, very driven and that gives me a little insight into what Irish are like.

So I know this week is going to be a very tough test and they’re going to come guns blazing.

Joe Schmidt could be forgiven for tapping into a scouting report like O’Gara’s but he said he decided against.

“It’s probably not a thing I’d do really,” Schmidt said. “I’d have a fair bit of respect. Ronan had a position in the Crusaders so he knows a lot of players but I haven’t spoken to him.

“Just because I think it’s a little bit awkward if I’m pestering him for information when he had a loyalty to a particular team at that time.

“And because he’s moved on to La Rochelle it doesn’t mean that I don’t respect that loyalty to a team that he was previously coaching at. We’ve basically tried to focus a bit more on ourselves. Because I think if we can get ourselves right that’s got to be our best starting point."

“If you look at everything the All Blacks have to offer you could scramble yourself. You could move too far away from what you’re used to, what your habits are, the rhythm you play with, trying to counter all the threats they pose.”

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