Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O'Gara expresses interest in joining All Blacks set-up

Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O'Gara has confirmed he'd be more than willing to join forces with Scott Robertson if his cohort were to take over the departing Steve Hansen's role with the All Blacks.

The former first-five - who earned 128 test caps for Ireland - said he'd have no issues putting parochialism to the side if the chance presented itself.

"Of course, that's why you get in – to challenge yourself to work with or against the best," O'Gara said. "It'd be a fantastic opportunity.

"It's about building relationships with players and a lot of these boys play for the national team, so it may happen someday and it'd be fantastic if it did.

"I appreciate and respect that there's a lot of really good national coaches who were born and bred and raised in NZ that might do a better job."

Winner of consecutive Super Rugby titles, Robertson has been touted as one of the leading contenders to claim the All Blacks head coach position when the incumvbent Hansen steps aside after the upcoming World Cup.

The 41-year-old O'Gara also addressed the possibility of taking over as Crusaders head coach if Robertson were to move into the All Blacks set-up.

"Yes, of course I have," O'Gara answered when quizzed whether or not he'd considered the prospect.

"I wouldn't be scared of putting my name in if I thought it was the right thing to do. But sport has taught me that these things work themselves out, and that means Razor wouldn't take me to the All Blacks job, which you'd have to ask him questions about.

"Anything is possible. I'm ambitious and competitive…but if I do my job, these things look after themselves. Maybe the timing might be a bit soon…but I'd back myself."

In the shorter term, O'Gara admitted he'd be keen to extend his time in Christchurch beyond the end of this season - which is when his current contract expires – pending approval from a higher authority.

"It's a fantastic rugby club that offers everything, I've just got to make sure it's the right decision for my wife and five kids.

"If it was my decision I know where I'd want to be, but you have to stop being selfish some day and start being realistic. Believe me - it comes up at the dinner a lot."


Contact Newshub with your story tips: