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Ronan O'Gara recalls when Roy Keane told Lawrence Dallaglio he'd lose Lions series 3-0

Ronan O'Gara recalls the time Roy Keane predicted a 3-0 loss for the Lions in front of Lawrence Dallaglio.

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

15:05 28 Nov 2021



Ronan O'Gara recalls when Roy...
Rugby

Ronan O'Gara recalls when Roy Keane told Lawrence Dallaglio he'd lose Lions series 3-0

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

15:05 28 Nov 2021

Roy Keane revealed to the Sunday Times last week that he once had dinner with Ronan O'Gara in New Zealand, so OTB AM asked him about it on Friday.

Keane shadowed the New Zealand coaching staff in 2008.

He learned from them by sitting in meetings and watching training sessions. Those meetings and training sessions were to prepare for games against Ireland. Coincidentally, Keane then bumped into Munster players Ronan O'Gara, Alan Quinlan and Paul O'Connell in Wellington one day after training. The Munster men had dinner together so O'Gara could pick his brain.

Keane recalled telling O'Gara that he was to be the target of the New Zealand attack.

O'Gara remembered that conversation too.

"I remember that dinner with Roy Keane," O'Gara said.

"He said 'What's the gameplan? The gameplan is they're going to attack you.' But that's no different for All Blacks, Australia, South Africa, England, France. That's the reality if you're playing number 10. So any time there's an attack they're going to go after the 10 channel. That's what happens and that's what did happen. They got a lot of joy out of it on many occasions.

"What we didn't do at that time was move me around between 10, 12 and 13."

O'Gara took no offence to being targetted because he recognized the quality of players around him. David Wallace and Denis Leamy were inside of him, Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll were outside of him, so of course O'Gara was the target. But that conversation with Keane was only a small part of the dinner.

The dinner itself was very enjoyable for the Munster players.

"It was very funny. It was a great dinner actually. I remember that. It was because it's with Roy and Roy doesn't dilute anything. It was a good chat, a really good chat actually. A good dinner. It was weird...was this actually Roy Keane we were at dinner with? And it was and he was very normal and down to earth.

"Just the capacity to have a real dinner with him. To probe him and search him and ask decent questions was very revealing and very interesting."

Munster had won two European cups by that point. Keane was Sunderland manager after his storied career. There was no shortage of topics to choose from. O'Gara didn't delve into further details, but he did mention another time when they two met prior to 2008. This time it was in 2005, ahead of the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Keane bumped into O'Gara with some of his non-Irish teammates.

"I can remember in '05 when we met Roy with Lawrence Dallaglio in the Morgan hotel before we flew off to New Zealand. Roy was asked how he thought it would go in front of myself and Dallaglio, and he goes New Zealand will win 3-0.

"He didn't mean it in a malicious way, he just said it because that was his opinion.

"And I suppose that's why he's respected."

Keane didn't target the players or look to rile up Dallaglio specifically, but he typically wasn't going to alter his opinion for the comfort of anyone around him.

The World Cup didn't cost me my Ireland place | Jack Carty

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