Ronan O’Gara Says It’s Really Difficult For Ex-Players To Deal With Foley’s Death
Today’s game will be a strange one for Ronan O’Gara.
His team are already knocked out, which will frustrate him given the nature of his ambition. He would want nothing more than to face his former side, in a fiery European affair, with everything on the line.
Today however, that won’t be the case. It’s a dead rubber game for Racing, that will be overshadowed by Munster’s return to the scene where Anthony Foley died. Speaking ahead of the game O’Gara has revealed how difficult it has been for Munster alumni like himself to deal with Foley’s passing.
The former playmaker says the players have that unique bond with the supporters and a strong dressing room to get them through it, but for ex-players like himself, the struggle is real. Speaking the the Irish Times, O’Gara explains:
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot too, and I think the biggest thing for me is that the Munster squad get to deal with it in their way, and they’re all together, and they still have that great bond with supporters. There’s strength in numbers.
But I think it’s extremely tough for ex-players because we’re on our own; people are forgetting the guys who played with Axel. There’s no dressing-room scenario for us to talk about it.
This has happened and we were in a daze when it happened in Killaloe and buried him. Then all of a sudden you have to go back to wherever you are.
Obviously you’ve your wives to talk with, but I think it’s very difficult for all that team of ex-players to deal with because I think it’s hit us all hard.”
O’Gara however praised the players response, having played Glasgow the day after Foley’s funeral, going on an amazing winning run, revitalising the province.
No, they haven’t looked back and it’s brilliant. They obviously had a player-coach relationship with Axel, bar Keith Earls and Donnacha Ryan and a few others who had played with him, but those of us who played with him would see Axel in a different way, and that’s why it’s incredibly sad.
But the new players have definitely kick-started something incredible, and it’s fantastic to see that the real Munster is back.”
No doubt, regardless of today’s result, O’Gara will pay a visit to Munster’s dressing room. Here’s hoping he finds some comfort there.