La Rochelle boss Ronan O’Gara banned ahead of Champions Cup final replay with Leinster

Dylan Coetzee

La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara in 2023.

La Rochelle director of rugby Ronan O’Gara has been given a one-week touchline ban for “indiscipline”, meaning he will be in the stands for his team’s Champions Cup clash with Leinster.

The replay of the last two finals was already expected to be a dramatic affair which is only made more so by yet another touchline ban for O’Gara, who feels he is being singled out in this regard.

The ban comes from his actions towards match officials when La Rochelle faced Racing 92 last month, which saw Teddy Thomas red-carded for a dangerous tackle. The wing has since received a five-match ban for the incident after the initial 10-game game ban was reduced due to his “recognition of facts, expression of remorse, conduct before and during hearing, clean disciplinary record.”


A statement for Ligue Nationale de Rugby confirmed O’Gara’s ban in a statement that read, “Ronan O’Gara was sanctioned with a one-week suspension for ‘indiscipline’. Taking into account the Stade Rochelais’ fixture list, O’Gara will be requalified on December 11. In addition, the Stade Rochelais was not sanctioned.”

The former Ireland fly-half is no stranger to touchline bans with five suspensions during his time in France, including a 10-week ban for ‘harming the best interest of rugby’ late last year.

O’Gara’s La Rochelle side will have to find a way to continue their recent run against Leinster with him in the stands.

Under the tutelage of the Irishman the French side has won back-to-back finals beating Leinster both times, initially in Marseille and then in Dublin earlier this year in the form of a brilliant comeback.

The game sets up as the one to watch in an exciting round one that includes Bulls hosting Saracens, Leicester Tigers facing Stormers and Racing 92 welcoming Harlequins to Paris.

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