Ronan O'Gara to swap Racing 92 for Crusaders coaching role

Ronan O'Gara joined Racing 92 as an assistant coach in 2013. Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Racing 92 have confirmed that Ronan O'Gara will leave his coaching role at the club to join Super Rugby outfit Crusaders at the start of next year.

The Top 14 giants released a statement Wednesday confirming that the former Ireland fly-half would be joining the New Zealand club on Jan. 1 2018.

"Ronan O'Gara will be released from his club commitments at the end of December," the statement read.

Although his contract had been due to run until 2019, the French side admitted that allowing O'Gara to link up with the defending Super Rugby champions would give the retired Munster playmaker the chance to "expand his rugby knowledge and improve his training methods."

"Racing 92 did not want to deny one of its loyal servants such a great opportunity to develop," the club explained, adding that the Irishman was leaving with the best wishes of club President Jacky Lorenzetti, and coaches Laurent Labitand and Laurent Travers.

O'Gara, 40, joined Racing as an assistant coach in July 2013 after calling time on his playing career, and helped to guide the French club to the Top 14 title in 2016.