Crusaders backs coach Ronan O’Gara will stay in New Zealand next year, having extended his contract through to the end of the 2019 season.
The former Ireland international, who joined the Crusaders coaching group at the start of 2018, was previously an assistant coach at Racing 92.
Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said the Super Rugby franchise is delighted to have secured O’Gara’s coaching expertise for another campaign.
“Ronan has proved a fantastic fit with our existing coaching group and we are thrilled he has made the decision to remain in Christchurch,” he told the Crusaders website.
“We know it was a big decision moving to the other side of the world with his young family, but his vast experience and coaching nous has been invaluable this season and we are delighted to have continuity in our coaching group leading in to 2019 campaign.”
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson said O’Gara’s contribution has been immense, adding: “Ronan’s coaching style has been hugely valuable to us in just his first season with the club. He has quickly formed great relationships with our playing group, and has effective means of passing on his knowledge which really resonates with the team.
“We hoped at the start of the season that Ronan would provide us with a new perspective in 2018, and he has done exactly that. He brings fresh eyes and knowledge to the coaching group and we are certainly seeing the benefits of his extensive skillset and experience. We’re pleased that Ronan and his family are settled in Christchurch and he’ll continue his important contribution in 2019.”
O’Gara meanwhile said he is enjoying his first season of Super Rugby and looking forward to another year with the Christchurch-based club.
“I’m delighted to be extending my contract for another season. I have always been an admirer of rugby in New Zealand and to get the opportunity to work with a club like the Crusaders is a fantastic experience,” he said.
“Besides being a great bunch of guys to work with, the professionalism of everyone associated with the club is incredible. It’s no wonder this part of the world has the success they do. I’m delighted my wife and family have come on this journey with me and I’m really looking forward to working with everyone again next season.”