Top French clubs eye up move for Ronan O’Gara
Ronan O'Gara is being targeted by Top 14 clubs for a switch to France after next year's World Cup.
The Ireland out-half has spent his entire career with Munster but French media are reporting that the 33-year-old's CV is one of a number circulating among the Top 14 clubs as the richest league in world rugby seeks high profile captures after the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
As well as O'Gara, French clubs are investigating the possibility of signing top out-halves such as Dan Carter, Quade Cooper and James Hook with Carter said to be capable of commanding a salary as high as €1.2million for a three season contract.
With a number of Ireland players out of contract at the end of the season, French clubs are in the market for a lucrative move to the Top 14 although the controlled environment of the Irish set-up has the advantage of providing greater player protection. However, the high cost of acquiring overseas stars is off-putting for some French owners such as Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal.
“€1.2 million for Dan Carter with a contract for three seasons, is it reasonable? Everyone is wary of the cost,” said Boudjellal.
Meanwhile, All Blacks second row Ali Williams is said to be keen on joining Leinster or Munster on a three-month deal as he attempts to get his career back on track in time for the World Cup.