Share this article


Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer have spoken about the importance of Munster's 'kiss and make up' policy back in their playing days with the southern province.

The pair were of course also international teammates at fly-half and scrum-half respectively, and spoke on tonight's Off the Ball about the need for a "telepathic" relationship.

However, things wouldn't always go to plan in training, and O'Gara told Joe Molloy that there were tough times behind the scenes too.

"Behind all the rosy days there were hard days as well. Yes I was an asshole at training sometimes... like I could remember moments... if Strings didn't throw the ball where I wanted it I'd catch the ball and chuck it back at him!

"Imagine doing that. But I think we had that kind of a team where we wanted to be better than everyone else.

"You think about that Munster team in '09, there were nine people picked on the Lions Tour, one got suspended and I think one got injured.

"We had pushed standards where they'd never been before."

Stringer, who lined out 98 times for Ireland across an 11-year span, said O'Gara's moods would often cause issues at training, but not necessarily in a negative sense.

"Yeah, always! Not in a bad way, like there were times you were annoyed at each other and I'd be annoyed at other fellas and again you can't dwell on little moments.

"If I threw a bad pass I knew myself, you don't need somebody else to tell you about it. We're our own biggest critics right throughout our careers.

"At times in that moment when you know you've messed up and haven't lived up to the standards you've set yourself, the last thing you want is someone in your ear telling you the same thing.

"But that's part of it, that's human nature. You're in rugby, you're in an environment where people get cranky..."

O'Gara, currently head coach at French Top 14 side La Rochelle, says kissing and making up was an important cornerstone in Munster's success in their playing heydays.

28 November 2010; Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer, right, Ireland. Autumn International, Ireland v Argentina, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

"We left it on the pitch, we had a 'kiss and make-up' policy at Munster. As heated as it got and there would be plenty of digging matches at training but we always had a final huddle.

"One of the main leaders would speak and after that we'd kiss and make up. Some days obviously there'd be nobody, some days you could have six couples having a kiss.

"It wasn't a kiss... and with the coronavirus now everything will change... but it was a kiss on the lips! Which was quite interesting..."

O'Gara says if he was in an extra-special mood kiss wouldn't always suffice.

"That is so important too that it's left on the pitch. Or - the times where I got ultra-ratty - that I'd send a text and go, 'can we meet and [talk over] a coffee about this."

Stringer, who ended his playing career at Worcester in 2018, said showing passion and giving out to teammates is actually better than doing nothing about it.

"You know how much it means to somebody, it would be worse if someone laughs it off. I've been in environments in the latter stages of my career and it's annoyed me where people have just laughed things off if passes aren't accurate.

"You know how much it means to someone when they're reacting that way, that's what really was special about the group that we had. Obviously you could see how much it meant to ROG, he just wanted the best out of everybody around him."

Everyone’s in the Team Of Us.

Vodafone. The Official Sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.


Share this article


Read more about

Joe Molloy Off The Ball Peter Stringer Ronan O'Gara Rugby Six Nations Vodafone Ireland

You might like

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up on queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Sound of the City at Night

The Sound of the City at Night

00:00-07:00

Share

Up next

98FM'S Big Breakfast with Rebe...

98FM'S Big Breakfast with Rebecca and Brendan

07:00-10:00

Share

Dublin Talks with Adrian & Jer...

Dublin Talks with Adrian & Jeremy

10:00-12:00

Share

The Sound of the City with Bar...

The Sound of the City with Barry Dunne

12:00-16:00

Share

The Big Ride Home With Brian M...

The Big Ride Home With Brian Maher

16:00-19:00

Share

The Fix with Ciaran O'Connor

The Fix with Ciaran O'Connor

19:00-22:00

Share

The Sound of the City at Night...

The Sound of the City at Night with Karl Dawson

22:00-00:00

Share

The Sound of the City at Night

The Sound of the City at Night

00:00-07:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on