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# Old friends
John Muldoon to link up with Pat Lam again as Bristol's defence coach
The Connacht legend is moving straight into professional coaching after he retires from playing.

BRISTOL HAVE CONFIRMED that Connacht legend John Muldoon will join Pat Lam’s coaching staff as defence coach next season.

Muldoon was Lam’s captain for Connacht’s Pro12 success in the 2015/16 season and the number eight will move from playing directly into professional coaching as Bristol return to the Premiership for the 2018/19 campaign.

Pat Lam and John Muldoon James Crombie / INPHO Lam and Muldoon with the 2016 Pro12 trophy. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

The Portumna man will feature in his final games for Connacht in the coming weeks before his playing days end.

35-year-old Muldoon joins a highly ambitious club in Bristol, who also have former Connacht hooker Jason Harris-Wright, assistant coach Conor McPhillips and head of performance Paul Bunce on their books.

“John has played more games than anyone else in the Pro14 and he has an intelligent rugby brain,” said Lam upon confirmation that Muldoon will join.

“When we coached together in the Galway community and worked closely together on gameplan and leadership strategy whilst at Connacht, I could see he had the makings of an excellent coach.

“When I was still playing, my mentor – Ian McGeechan – gave me my first coaching opportunity in the professional game and I want John to have the same opportunity to begin his coaching career. He has the character traits and qualities that match everything we are looking for.”

Meanwhile, Muldoon expressed his pleasure to have the chance to work with Lam again.

“I’m delighted to be linking up with Pat and the team at Bristol Rugby at a hugely exciting time for the club,” said Muldoon.

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“I’m inspired by the vision that the club has and the philosophy around community is something that is very important to me.

“I’m honoured to have represented Connacht as a player throughout my career and now I’m relishing the chance to begin my coaching career and help contribute to Bristol’s success in the Premiership.”

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