Ronan O'Gara has been confirmed as the head coach of La Rochelle.

The former Ireland international cut his coaching teeth in Paris where he spent more than five years Racing 92 before moving to New Zealand in January of last year to take up a role with Crusaders.

O’Gara was part of a backroom team that led the Christchurch-based side to another Super Rugby title and will work alongside La Rochelle Director of Rugby Jonno Gibbes.

O’Gara replaces Xavier Garbajosa, who left the club earlier this month for the head coach role at Montpellier.

The Crusaders are just three games away from retaining their title and will have home advantage when they take to the field in the Super Rugby quarter-finals on 22 June.

La Rochelle’s season came to a conclusion last weekend when they were defeated 20-6 by Toulouse in the Top 14 semi-final.