Irish rugby coach, Ronan O’Gara, is gearing up for the Champions Cup final against Leinster in Dublin. Speaking at a press conference the day before the match, O’Gara sported a red club hoodie and expressed his desire for his team to cope with the pressure of being the away team. The Corkman has fond memories of the stadium, having played there 45 times for Ireland, and is eager to taste victory once again.
Last year, O’Gara and his family celebrated emotional scenes on the pitch in Marseille after his team came back from 18-10 down to defeat Leo Cullen’s side. He wants to replicate that success and is confident in his team’s ability to do so. He believes that his senior players can help guide the less experienced members of the team through the pressure of the final.
O’Gara acknowledges that the crowd will largely be in favour of Leinster, but he is not fazed by this. He believes that his team is ready to attack the game and will not be intimidated by the home crowd. He emphasises that the game is played by the players, and while he has a role in the environment, it is the players who drive the team’s success.
The coach is excited about the game and relishes the pressure moments that will inevitably arise. He believes that how the team manages these moments will be crucial in deciding the outcome of the match. O’Gara is confident that there will be enough opportunities for his team to play their style of rugby and impose their game on the opposition.
O’Gara emphasises the importance of creating a strong team culture. He believes that the players’ care for each other and their desire to create memories together is what drives the team’s success. He acknowledges that there will be disappointments along the way, but these can serve as motivation for future success.
The coach is optimistic about his team’s chances in the final and is eager to see them rise to the challenge. The beauty of sport, he says, lies in the fascination of the unknown, and he is excited to see how his team will perform on the big stage.