It took Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson about five seconds to realise Ronan O’Gara would be a good fit with the Canterbury-based Super Rugby champions.
“I was fortunate to catch-up with him for lunch in Ireland before the Springboks test match and I just couldn’t believe how much of a superstar he is there,” Robertson told stuff.co.nz.
“I was blown away by how much he is held in such high regard. The biggest thing that sold it for me was when I asked ‘why would you like to be a Crusader? And he told me it was the holy grail’. That was enough for me.”
New Zealand Rugby didn’t stand in Robertson’s way, having been consulted about the move.
Robertson says they are delighted to have O’Gara come to New Zealand, as they feel they can also learn from him.
“They (NZ Rugby) were consulted throughout the process,” Robertson said. “It goes both ways, we can all learn from this and they were happy with it. I looked locally but the experience I wanted wasn’t in New Zealand, so I broadened my thinking.
“We looked for someone who has experienced rugby at the highest level and performed in pressure situations.
“ROG has done that as a player for different teams, and also as a coach. He is the real deal.”
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