These types of books are really only directed at true fans and there’s no point in picking this up if all you’re interested in is the gossip from inside the Irish or Munster squads because he doesn’t give much away in that department. Now as much as I would have loved some more gossip I still really enjoyed this book. It basically tells O Gara’s story of his last few years playing professional rugby and also touch on him moving to France to coach Racing Metro.
I am a huge Ronan O Gara fan to the point where I actually named my son Ronan. Embarrassing? Maybe. Do I care? No. I think he is one of Ireland’s finest sportsman and not only was he incredibly talented and skilled but he always came across as humble and grateful for all his opportunities. He was offered huge money to play in the NFL in the US but turned it down because he couldn’t bear to leave his beloved Munster. That’s true loyalty and you don’t see a whole lot of that anymore.
It was disappointing to every Irish rugby fan when O Gara was dropped in quite a horrible fashion from the national team, replaced by Paddy Jackson, someone much younger and inexperienced and just generally not that good and definitely not as good as O Gara. He deserved better. He deserved to be clapped off the pitch and saluted by his loyal fans at the end of his last game and he talks about his feelings towards this in the book. At least he got it with Munster and I think that meant more to him anyway.
I loved hearing about his time (so far) in Racing Metro as it’s so different to the Irish set up. They seem to have amazing facilities over there and it was just interesting to hear his experience as a coach instead of a player. It was definitely a very brave thing to do, moving to another country, a new job, new schools for the kids, etc but he did it and is still doing it so fair play to him, I say.
I did love to hear that his ultimate job would be to coach Munster some day and I have to say I cannot wait
- Ronan O’Gara : The Greatest Ever. (becausewelovesport.wordpress.com)
- Irish Rugby Review 2013 (irishnewsreview.net)