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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Pat Lam 'hoping to achieve great things' with Connacht after signing contract extension

The head coach has committed himself to the province until 2018.

Lam and Connacht CEO Willie Ruane.
Lam and Connacht CEO Willie Ruane.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

PAT LAM HAS signed a new three-year contract with Connacht and the IRFU to continue as the province’s head coach until the summer of 2018.

The 44-year-old assumed the reins from Eric Elwood ahead of the 2013-14 season and has enjoyed considerable success at the Sportsgrounds since his appointment.

“I am thrilled that I will be with Connacht Rugby for a further three years as we strive towards achieving great things,” he told the province’s website.

“We have a vision here to be ‘world class’ in everything we do so we can grow and promote the game out West and ensure everyone involved has the best opportunity to achieve their goals.

“We believe that we are certainly on the right track with all the good work that has been done over the years by many people. To be a part of it is very exciting.”

As a player, Lam won the European Cup with Northampton before moving into coaching. Before taking over the main job at Connacht, he had been involved as a consultant to both the Scotland and Samoa international teams.

Lam masterminded Connacht’s famous win over four-time European champions Toulouse in December 2013 as the Westerners produced one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Heineken Cup.

“We are all delighted that Pat will be staying on as head coach for the next three years. As a coach, he has added real value to our professional rugby set up,” Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane added.

“He has also been instrumental in attracting major overseas players here and with players committing their futures to the club it just reaffirms their commitment and belief in what we are doing here.”

The province’s resources were significantly bolstered by the signing of All Black legend Mils Muliaina and Bundee Aki during the off-season.

Connacht are currently 6th in the Pro12 standings.

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Ryan Bailey

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