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O'Gara signs on for another year

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

O'Gara, capped 128 times for Ireland and three times a Lions tourist, joined the Crusaders for the 2018 season from the Racing 92 club in France.

"I'm delighted to be extending my contract for another season. I have always been an admirer of rugby in New Zealand and to get the opportunity to work with a club like the Crusaders is a fantastic experience," he said.

"Besides being a great bunch of guys to work with, the professionalism of everyone associated with the club is incredible. It's no wonder this part of the world has the success they do.

"I'm delighted my wife and family have come on this journey with me and I'm really looking forward to working with everyone again next season," he said.

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson said O'Gara had made an 'immense' contribution to the side.

"Ronan's coaching style has been hugely valuable to us in just his first season with the club. He has quickly formed great relationships with our playing group, and has effective means of passing on his knowledge which really reasonates with the team," he said.

Robertson said they had hoped when he joined the side he would bring a new perspective and he had achieved that.

"He brings fresh eyes and knowledge to the coaching group and we are certainly seeing the benefits of his extensive skillset and experience," he said.

Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said O'Gara had fitted in well with the coaching group and the organisation was thrilled he was staying on.

"We know it was a big decision moving to the other side of the world with his young family, but his vast experience and coaching nous has been invaluable this season and we are delighted to have continuity in our coaching group leading into the 2019 campaign," he said.

Also returning to the side will be halfback Bryn Hall who has signed for the 2019 season, his third in Christchurch.

Hall made 17 appearances for the Crusaders in 2017, scoring four tries, while also starting against the British & Irish Lions.

A former captain of the New Zealand Under-20s and New Zealand Schools' Hall made his debut for the Maori All Blacks in 2017. While he plays his Mitre 10 Cup rugby for North Harbour, the Crusaders connection was a good fit for his Super Rugby, he said.

"The 2017 season was an incredible ride, so in the end the decision to sign on for another season with this group of coaches and players was an easy one to make.

"There is plenty of healthy competition here for the halfback spot, and this environment has brought out the best in my game and been great for my development," he said.