Lam arrives to sunny welcome in Connacht

The 44-year old will take over from Eric Elwood as coach at the end of the season

Incoming Connacht head coach Pat Lam at the  Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Incoming Connacht head coach Pat Lam at the Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.


Incoming Connacht head coach Pat Lam arrived to a sun-drenched Sportsground today. He will take over from Eric Elwood at the end of the season.

The 44-year-old New Zealander landed at Shannon airport yesterday evening with his wife Steph and four children and has been busy meeting everyone at the club since then.

"It's been fantastic meeting everyone today. Since we've arrived yesterday, everybody has been so welcoming to myself and my family", said Lam. "We're enjoying having a look around Galway in the sun and getting settled.

"I sat down with Eric today and we had a good chat. I'm looking forward to meeting all the players tomorrow. It will be great to take in the remaining four games of the season and get the lay of the land before I start in the summer."

In December of this year, Lam accepted a two year contract with Connacht Rugby with an option to extend for a further period. He will commence the role of Head Coach on June 1st 2013.

Lam represented the All Blacks in a tour match before going on to captain Samoa in a distinguished playing career which included spells with Newcastle Falcons and Northampton Saints where he lifted the Heineken Cup.

His coaching career includes a successful spell at Auckland in the New Zealand Provincial Championship from 2005-8 where he won the title in 2005 and 2007 before he went on to head up the Auckland Blues in the Super 15.

Under Lam the Blues achieved their best finish for several years in 2011 reaching the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual winners the Queensland Reds. He has also been involved at international level as a consultant to both Scotland and Samoa, most recently on the Pacific Islanders highly successful UK tour late last year when they claimed the scalps of both Wales and Canada which saw them make the top eight of the IRB World Rankings.

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