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La Rochelle boss Ronan O'Gara faces disciplinary hearing ahead of Investec Champions Cup

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Wednesday Nov 29, 2023

La Rochelle’s head coach, Ronan O’Gara, finds himself in a familiar position as he prepares to face a French disciplinary committee next week.

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This comes after O’Gara, the former Munster and Ireland out-half, was summoned three times last season and now faces renewed scrutiny for his behavior.

The latest incident unfolded after La Rochelle’s Top 14 defeat to Stuart Lancaster’s Racing 92 last weekend, with match officials raising concerns about O’Gara’s conduct.

This unwanted distraction comes just before La Rochelle opens their Champions Cup campaign at home against Leinster, heightening the stakes for the club.

Adding to La Rochelle’s challenges, winger Teddy Thomas is also under the disciplinary spotlight, facing a potential ban after being sent off in the same Racing game. With key players facing potential sanctions, there are several questions surrounding the two time defending Champions Cup holders.

La Rochelle currently sits in the 11th position in the Top 14 table, enduring a challenging start to the new season with five losses in eight games. The Ligue Nationale Rugby (LNR) issued a statement regarding O’Gara’s situation, expressing concern that his actions may violate the General Regulations of the LNR and the FFR.

The statement from LNR read, “At the end of the aforementioned meeting, the match officials appointed during this meeting reported the behavior of Mr. Ronan O’Gara, Coach of Stade Rochelais. The situation in question is likely to constitute an infringement of the General Regulations of the LNR and the FFR.”

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O’Gara and the Stade Rochelais club are now summoned before the Disciplinary and Regulations Commission, scheduled to convene on December 6, 2023.

Importantly, O’Gara is not suspended pending this hearing, leaving the coaching staff and players in suspense as they navigate a crucial phase in their season amidst off-field challenges.

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