Connacht backs coach joining Pat Lam at Bristol

Conor McPhillips will take up a role as assistant coach at English Premiership side

Connacht backs coach Conor McPhillips will join the province's head coach Pat Lam at Bristol next season.

McPhillips will finish in his role with the Pro12 champions at the end of the current season. The former Connacht back, who played with the province from 2003 - 2008, will take up a role as assistant coach with Bristol Rugby.

McPhillips initially worked as the Head of Performance Analysis at the Sportsgrounds, before graduating into the coaching set up.

Commenting on the news, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said:


“I’d like to thank Conor for all the work he’s done with Connacht over the last number of years and wish him and his family the very best in their move to England during the summer.

“As a club, we hope to be in a position to make some announcements with respect to next season’s backroom team in the coming days.”

McPhillips himself added that the players and management team must remain focused for the remainder of the season:

“I have many great memories after 15 years with Connacht Rugby, as a player, performance analyst and coach. It was with Connacht that I got my first opportunity to move in to coaching and it’s been an incredibly rewarding time working as part of the backroom team.

“The relationships I’ve built here and the friends I’ve made will be what I miss most but I feel the time is right to challenge myself as a coach in a new environment.

“We have hugely important games coming up for Connacht and I remain fully focused on our team goals and look forward to a strong finish to the season.”

He also told Bristol’s club website that he is excited to continue working with Lam, who is currently in his fourth season at the helm out west.

“It’s an exciting new chapter for me and my family to come to Bristol and contribute to the Club’s vision going forward.

“I have a close relationship with Pat (Lam) and enjoy being part of an environment that inspires confidence and belief in individuals to become better players and better people.

“Bristol have an exciting array of talent in their squad and I’m relishing the opportunity to work with them.”