Pat Lam lands coaching job at Irish province

SHANE DE BARRA
Last updated 13:16 13/01/2013
Pat Lam
GALWAY BOUND: Former Auckland Blues coach Pat Lam is off to coach Connacht in Ireland.

Relevant offers

International

Lions tour: British and Irish Lions take down a drone in kicking challenge Match scheduling and stadium issues means South Island likely to miss full benefits of the Lions tour Lions tour: Skipper Sam Warburton declares himself 'fully fit' for New Zealand Lions tour: Stuart Hogg on being Lions cub and why mixing four nations is 'really easy' All Blacks to face Springboks in Cape Town for first time since 2008 Rugby supporter ejected for putting British and Irish Lion off his goal kick City leaders upbeat as Wellington loses Sevens Rugby to Hamilton Denny Solomona in doubt for England debut in Argentina due to foot injury Lions Tour: Billy Vunipola loss 'massive blow' to Lions' hopes of beating the All Blacks Lions tour: Todd Blackadder still backing the All Blacks despite wishing Bath winger Anthony Watson good luck for NZ tour

Former Auckland and Blues coach Pat Lam has been confirmed as the new head coach of Irish province Connacht.

Lam, who represented New Zealand in a tour match before going on to win 34 caps for Samoa, has accepted a two-year deal with the option to extend his stay at the Galway-based club.

The 44-year-old endured a torrid final Super Rugby season in 2012 with the Blues, who finished 12th. Lam only reached the playoffs once in his four seasons at the helm of the Auckland franchise.

He reapplied for the top job at the Blues in July but was replaced by John Kirwan.

While this will not be Lam's first foray into European club rugby - he won the Heineken Cup with Northampton in 2000 - he will have his work cut out with his new side  which is regarded as the "feeder" Irish province for Euro-giants Munster, Leinster and Ulster.

It is understood that Lam will travel to Ireland in April to assist outgoing Connacht coach and ex-Ireland fly half Eric Elwood, for the final games of his new side's domestic season in the Rabo Direct Pro12. Connacht has already been eliminated from this season's Heineken Cup.

Speaking earlier this week Lam was looking forward to the new challenge on Ireland's west coast.

"I was impressed by the Board's vision for Connacht and the fighting spirit of the team and supporters to persevere against all the odds," Lam said.

"My family and I are truly blessed to have another opportunity to be part of a new community and country and we are looking forward to the exciting challenge ahead at Connacht."

Ad Feedback

- Auckland Now

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the better Springboks lock?

Bakkies Botha

Victor Matfield

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content