Ireland legend hails NZ's rugby approach - 'I had no idea of their way of coaching'

Former Ireland first-five and current Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O'Gara has spoken about the superiority of coaching in New Zealand, having helped the Christchurch franchise to a second straight Super Rugby title.

O'Gara, 41, joined the Crusaders at the beginning of 2018, with his impact quickly noticed by fans as first-five Richie Mo'unga's performances showed the impact of the 128-Test veteran's influence.

Speaking to The Telegraph, O'Gara was full of praise towards the impact New Zealand rugby has had on him as a coach.

"The positivity of rugby in New Zealand has rubbed off on me," he says.

"It has changed me massively. It is intense but fascinating. I had no idea of their way of coaching. I was of the model of telling players. They don't believe in that."

"Their mantra is, 'Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.'

"New Zealanders are humble and they practise skills, running, passing. Simple things to say but complex actions on the field. But the players there come in every day with this desire to get better, every day."

O'Gara also went on to confidently assert that the All Blacks could be beaten, however victory on a consistent basis against the defending world champions is another proposition entirely.

"Of course, the All Blacks can be beaten. But consistently beaten? I don't know about that, I don't think the natural talent is any better than what we have here."

"One thing you know, though, is that the All Blacks will perform. It is up to the other nations to perform, too."

Ronan O'Gara Assistant Coach of the Crusaders  during the Super Rugby match, Crusaders V Hurricanes, AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, 25th May 2018.Copyright photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz
Ronan O'Gara. Source: Photosport



Humble Rieko Ioane not targeting All Blacks' try scoring record: 'I'm just enjoying what I'm doing'

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane says he's not motivated by Doug Howlett's all-time try scoring record, having re-signed with New Zealand Rugby yesterday.

Ioane, 21, has scored 18 tries from 18 Test appearances and would appear likely to overtake Howlett's record of 49 tries in 62 Tests, if he were to stay fit and represent the All Blacks for the majority of his professional career.

However, speaking at Auckland Airport as the All Blacks departed for Argentina yesterday, Ioane said that the prospect of writing his name into the record books played no part in his decision to stay in New Zealand.

"It's different for everyone, but I just want to keep playing good footy, consistent footy," he said.

"Hopefully, if I keep doing that, then things take care of itself.

"I'm just enjoying what I'm doing. My sole focus is having fun and being consistent."

The young winger is on course to eclipse Doug Howlett's all-time record. Source: 1 NEWS


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'I'm a proud Aucklander' – Rieko Ioane targets Blues' return to glory with new NZ Rugby deal

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane says the desire to see the Blues return to the top of Super Rugby was a key factor in his decision to remain with New Zealand Rugby as he signed a four-year deal.

Ioane, 21, and brother Akira both put pen to paper on new contracts with the elder Ioane recommitting to New Zealand Rugby for an extra three years.

However, with the Blues not having won Super Rugby since 2003, Ioane said that helping his boyhood club back to glory was a huge motivation in his decision to stay.

"We look forward to the challenge it brings," Ioane said.

"Being from Auckland, something that we hold dear to our hearts is taking our franchise, our city to places where it should be.

"We want to see it at the top, and hopefully if we're part of it it'll be something special."

Ioane also spoke about the prospect of turning down other New Zealand Super Rugby franchises.

"There's always going to be that temptation, but for me, the huge factor is being at home.

"I'm a proud Aucklander, and I just want to inspire the change that gets us to where we need to get to."

The All Blacks winger re-signed with New Zealand Rugby today. Source: 1 NEWS


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'Mum and dad will be stoked' - Ioane brothers thrilled to re-sign with NZ Rugby

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane has hailed the influence of older brother Akira, as the pair today recommitted to New Zealand Rugby for another four years.

Rieko, 21, and Akira, 23, both put pen to paper on new deals, deciding to remain within New Zealand for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to media at Auckland Airport, Rieko spoke about the pair's decisions to stay at home in New Zealand.

"We've been lucky enough to play together for so long," he said.

"I'm pretty happy that both Aki and I are staying around home for a bit longer.

"I'm sure mum and dad will be stoked as well."

Both Rieko and Akira Ioane have penned new deals to stay in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS


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