Richie McCaw has backed Ireland legend Ronan O'Gara to succeed in New Zealand after the Irishman confirmed his move to the Crusaders.

O'Gara will leave his role as assistant coach of French side Racing 92 to become the new backs coach for the Crusaders in the 2018 Super Rugby season.

The former Ireland first-five, who will replace Leon MacDonald, is the first Crusaders coaching appointment from outside New Zealand.

Read more:
Backlash over Crusaders' Ronan O'Gara tweet as appointment makes waves

Advertisement

McCaw said he is excited to see how O'Gara will fare in New Zealand, in what is a rare move for a Northern Hemisphere coach.

"It's quite exciting from a Crusaders point of view to have a first Northern Hemisphere influence," McCaw told the Irish Independent.

"I'm guessing that the time Ronan had at Racing around guys like Dan Carter and Casey Laulala, he felt it was the right place to go. The Crusaders boys will ask the same questions. There is no doubt that he has a pretty good rugby brain and he will bring new ideas that the Crusaders boys will be keen to hear."

McCaw believes O'Gara will embrace the culture of the Crusaders.

"The Crusaders are traditionally the most successful franchise in Super Rugby. The culture and what the team stands for has been pretty well set up right from day one, led by guys like Wayne Smith and Todd Blackadder.

"It's got a great culture, it's just come off winning the last Super Rugby. It's a pretty successful franchise that do things pretty damn well.

ROTORUA DAILY POST | Sport
24 Nov, 2017 9:00am
4 minutes to read

"It's always a 'team comes first before the individual' type team. That's the ethos of the team. He will come into the team like that."

The former All Blacks captain also believes the Crusaders will benefit from O'Gara's experience.

"The guys there are always driven to be better and will want to pick Ronan's brain for experiences.

"I think it will be great. I'm sure he'll have different ways of looking at things, he'll probably take a while to see how the Crusaders work.

"It's not as if he's coming in as head coach. He's obviously got his philosophy on how the team goes and build on what they did last year… having O'Gara there to add something different is a pretty good move."

O'Gara will move to New Zealand at the end of next month. He said he is looking forward to the new role and thanked Racing for allowing him to leave.

"This is an exciting next step in my coaching career and one that my family and I are ready to make," he said.

"It is clear that there is a special and successful culture at the Crusaders, which I feel honoured to be invited to be a part of."