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Busy start to O'Gara's Crusaders role

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    09 Dec 2017     Getty Images

O'Gara, who will leave his Racing 92 club in Paris at the end of December has television commentary commitments in Ireland during the Six Nations toward the end of the Crusaders' pre-season so will be commuting from Christchurch to Dublin to complete those roles.

O'Gara admitted to being daunted about his assignment with the Crusaders.

"It is such a big club, with such a massive history," he told balls.ie.

"New Zealand are the best rugby team in the world and the Crusaders have been a hugely successful organisation. But overall, it's not daunting, it's exciting.

"I've had four years at Racing with an awful lot of southern hemisphere players and I've coached some of their best All Blacks. You had Joe Rokocoko, Dan Carter, Casey Laulala and Anthony Tuitavake.

"Getting to know their mindset, how they see the game and what drives them, makes it far less daunting going into their back yard. I may be a little intimidated to a small degree, but I need to hit the ground running and bring what I believe in," he said.

For many in Ireland, O'Gara's connection with Racing had been seen as a stepping stone back to a coaching role with Munster. But the Crusaders move had ruled that out, at this stage at least.

O'Gara said if that had been a thought earlier things had changed.

"It's a professional game. I see things differently now, and it's more important to enjoy the now.

"It was a big challenge at Racing, and having hopefully done some good work there, I've got an opportunity to go elsewhere," he said.

"I'm not really thinking about what's coming next year or the year after, I'm thinking about now. That's the way you have to be.

"You have to be driven, you have to be competitive, and I think that's deep inside me.

"Wanting to compete is not difficult for me. I love going into work, if you call it that, to get the best out of players and the best out of myself, every day. And if you look upon it as a work or a project eventually ending up at Munster one day, that's not how it works," he said.