Pat Lam signs a five-year contract extension with Bristol

Former Connacht boss commits long-term future to Ashton Gate and the Premiership

Pat Lam has signed a five-year contract extension with Bristol. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Pat Lam has signed a five-year contract extension with Bristol. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

 

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam has signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him at Ashton Gate until 2028.

The Bears’ most successful coach of the professional era presided over the 2020 European Challenge triumph and steered the club to a first-place finish at the end of the 2020-21 Gallagher Premiership regular season.

Lam’s previous contract was due to expire in 2023 but Bristol have moved to secure the 52-year-old former All Black on a long-term basis.

“It’s an absolute honour to continue as director of rugby at Bristol. To have the opportunity to work with a great group of people and to represent our community with pride and love is very special,” Lam said.

“While we have come a long way in the last four years, I’m really excited by what is still to come as we challenge all of us individually and collectively to raise the bar every day.”

Bristol finished three points clear of second-place Exeter last season only to then meet an inspired Harlequins, who fought back from 28-0 down to triumph 43-36 in a breathtaking semi-final.

A season earlier the Bears finished third and the next step is to turn their repeated presence in the Premiership play-offs into silverware with their 2021-22 title bid starting against Saracens at Ashton Gate on Friday night.

“We’re delighted to have secured Pat’s signature on a long-term contract,” chairman Chris Booy said.

“It’s no surprise he would have the interest of every top club in the world, so it’s testament to the ambition of the Bears that Pat was eager to stay.

“We are absolutely aligned on the direction of the club. Bristol will continue to grow and we will achieve sustainable success at the top of the domestic and European game.”

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