Hurricane Jack Lam confirms move to Bristol
Jack Lam's fourth season at the Hurricanes will be his last.
The abrasive openside flanker has signed a two-year contract with aspiring English second-division club Bristol.
After consultation with former Scotland coach Andy Robinson, now at the helm of Bristol, Lam decided to make the move at the end of the Super Rugby season.
"The opportunity came up and I thought it was good timing," Lam told Fairfax Media yesterday.
"I spoke with Andy Robinson over the phone a couple of times. I've done what I wanted to here in New Zealand. I've loved my time here and have fulfilled one of my lifelong dreams. I thought it would be a good move for me to go over to Bristol."
Currently on 37 caps for the franchise, Lam hopes to bring up 50 caps before leaving the capital.
Just 26-years-old and in sharp touch at the breakdown and with ball in hand for the Hurricanes this year, Lam has plenty more to offer. But the Waikato fetcher sensed the presence of All Blacks apprentice Ardie Savea. He also weighed up the brutal nature of his role and decided to jump at the chance to set himself up financially.
"It's time to move on and let the young buck Ardie do his thing. He's keeping me young and is pushing me hard," he said.
"I'll give it everything here first, then move on."
The prospect of representing Samoa at next year's World Cup was another major drawcard.
"There was a bit of that [salary boost] and I had to sit down and look at where I'm at in my career. I'm getting to the latter stages. I had some other goals. I want to play a World Cup so with that being over there it helped the decision.
"Your time in a flanker's career is getting shorter and shorter and the game is getting faster so that came into it as well."
Lam, who will join former Hurricanes prop Anthony Perenise and Samoan captain David Lemi at Bristol, is the second member of the current Hurricanes squad to confirm their departure at the end of the season, following Alapati Leiua's decision to sign a three-year deal worth more than $1.2 million with Wasps.
Former New Zealand sevens, under-20s and Waikato No 8 Rory Grice, 21, has also signed for French club Grenoble, where he'll join Blues midfielder Jackson Willison after Super Rugby.