“This could open his horizons on all fronts” – Ronan O’Gara excited by Hanrahan move

Speaking to Off The Ball this morning, former Munster outhalf Ronan O’Gara expressed his thoughts on a potential move to Clermont Auvergne for JJ Hanrahan.

Heineken Champions Cup Round 2, Thomond Park, Limerick, 23/11/2019 Munster vs Racing 92 Munster’s JJ Hanrahan makes a break Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Legendary number ten O’Gara shared a dressing room with Hanrahan at the tail end of his career and believes the Kerryman can truly express his talent in the south of France. Hanrahan’s contract with Munster expires this Summer and a report from RMC Sport last night indicated a surprise move is soon to be confirmed.

O’Gara of course is no stranger to French rugby and thinks the Clermont switch will be a “fantastic opportunity” for Hanrahan.

“JJ is a great guy, he’s a deep thinker on the game, I think he still has unfinished business in himself,” said O’Gara.

“He’s very, very creative and diligent, he’s a hard worker [and] is hugely into process. He really, really wanted to excel for Munster and Ireland and it hasn’t happened at the highest level for him yet.

“But in two years’ time he’ll be 30, he’ll be playing his best rugby between now and 32, there’s a huge opportunity for him and you’d be delighted for him.

“He cares about it, he really wants to deliver, but sometimes he’s been paralysed by analysis, by overthinking. He has great instincts in him, and he needs to play and trust that.

“Sometimes he potentially over-complicates it in that position, but it isn’t easy and there was a time when he was driving that team when they were a little bit lower in confidence in areas than when I was there and it was easier.

“I was full sure in 2013 when I retired, I remember doing my final kicking session with him, that this guy was gonna take over and he’s going to be a star – it’s been frustrating for him so far but this could open his horizons on all fronts.”

Before Hanrahan departs he will of course have one last shot at winning the Guinness PRO14 tomorrow evening against Leinster. Munster kick-off at 5pm live on Eir Sport 1 and TG4.

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