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Beating Leinster 'may top a lot of his success that O'Gara had as a player' | Wednesday Night Rugby

Beating Leinster as a coach could rank above some of Ronan O'Gara's achievements as a player, according to former Munster and Ireland hooker Keith Wood.



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Beating Leinster 'may top a lot of his success that O'Gara had as a player' | Wednesday Night Rugby


Beating Leinster as a coach could rank above some of Ronan O'Gara's achievements as a player, according to former Munster and Ireland hooker Keith Wood.

Leinster are heading to Marseille on Saturday to tackle O'Gara's La Rochelle in the Heineken Champions Cup final. It would be the fifth European title for Leo Cullen's men, and the first time that La Rochelle have won the title.

While La Rochelle knocked Leinster out of the Champions Cup at the semi-final stage last year, Leinster have been firm favourites throughout the competition.

In spite of the threat posed by the physicality of Will Skelton and the powerful French forwards, Leinster remain favourites to beat the runners up from last year's competition in the final.

Speaking on Wednesday Night Rugby, Wood explained why he felt that Leinster will have the edge over O'Gara's side. However, he does feel that anything can happen if some unpredictable events occur.

"You have to remind the team that you are playing against every second of the match that you are better than them," Wood said.  "Without forcing everything.

"I do think Leinster have all of that capability. But a lot depends on different things. A couple of guys get injured, a red card for a high hit, something unusual can happen very easily.

"It is kind of hard to predict those sorts of things, and you don't want to predict them. Anything can happen, and it is about keeping composure.

"I would say, Leinster for the most part, have kept composure and a level of intensity. It is a kind of cold composure which has been very impressive. So, I think we tip them for it."

O'Gara had an exceptional playing career for Munster and Ireland. He won two Champions Cups with Munster, three Celtic League titles, in different formats, as well as four Triple Crowns and a Grand Slam with Ireland.

However, Wood feels that coaching this La Rochelle side to European success against this Leinster side could rank near the top of all of his successes over his career.

"I will say, one other thing, we talk about O'Gara being bitter about the fact that we are saying nice things about his opposition," Wood said.

"If he manages to orchestrate a win against Leinster, it may top a lot of his success that he had as a player, because everything is against him in this instance."

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Brian O'Driscoll Champions Cup Contepomi Dan Leavy Felipe Contepomi Final France Heineken Champions Cup Heineken Cup Hugo Keenan IRFU Irish Rugby James Lowe Joe Molloy Johnny Sexton Jordan Larmour Keith Wood La Rochelle La Rochelle Rugby Leinster Leinster Rugby Leinster Vs La Rochelle Leo Cullen Liam Toland Munster Munster Rugby Newstalk Off The Ball Otb Otb Sports Paris Podcast Radio Ronan O'Gara Rugby Sport Sports Stuart Lancaster Tadgh Furlong

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