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Ronan O’Gara banned for six weeks for abusing official

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Ronan O'Gara
O’Gara’s La Rochelle lost out to Toulouse in last season’s Top 14 play-offs

La Rochelle coach Ronan O’Gara has been banned for six weeks for disrespecting a match official during his side’s 23-21 Top 14 win over Lyon this month.

The Top 14’s disciplinary commission said the incident was of a “higher degree of gravity”.

An additional two-week penalty for Ireland legend O’Gara’s previous disciplinary record was counter-balanced by his admission of guilt.

La Rochelle lead the French top-flight after three rounds.

O’Gara was promoted to the top coaching role at the club in April 2021 after Jono Gibbes departed for Clermont. He took La Rochelle to the Champions Cup title, beating old rivals Leinster in the final in Marseille, in his first season in charge.

O’Gara, 45, was investigated by French top-flight officials in April after a touchline confrontation with Bordeaux-Begles counterpart Christophe Urios.

Neither man was punished over their argument.

O’Gara won 128 Ireland caps and played for the British and Irish Lions on their 2001, 2005 and 2009 tours. His coaching career began with almost five years in an assistant role with Paris club Racing 92, before a stint as attack coach with New Zealand Super Rugby outfit Crusaders.

He took a coaching role under director of rugby Gibbes at La Rochelle in 2019.

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