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La Rochelle has appointed former Ireland international Donnacha Ryan as a forwards coach for the upcoming season.
Ryan will be reunited with former Munster and Ireland teammate and La Rochelle Director of Rugby Ronan O’Gara.
The pair were part of the famous Heineken Cup winning Munster side of 2008 and the 2011 and 2015 World Cup sides at national level.
Ryan boasts two Magners Cup titles and the aforementioned Heineken Cup as career honours at club level and will look to add to that as a coach.
The 37-year-old retired from professional rugby at the end of last season after four seasons with Racing 92 in Paris.
Ryan never won a trophy while in Paris but came close on numerous occasions, including being part of two Champions Cup runners-up sides and missing out on the Top 14 in the late stages, most recently against O’Gara’s La Rochelle.
This will be the Tipperary native’s first foray into the coaching world as he looks to cut his teeth with the club’s forwards.
The retired rugby player will work alongside Romain Carmignani in the role, who was promoted to the first-team coaching role from the academy.
Last season’s runners-up La Rochelle opens their new Top 14 campaign on 4 September with a mouthwatering meeting against Toulouse — a repeat of last season’s final.
O’Gara will also be hoping to go one better in the Heineken Champions Cup this time around, with last year’s beaten finalists drawn in Pool A where they will take on Bath and Glasgow Warriors.