Monday 25 September 2017

Lam rubbishes claims Griffin is Munster-bound

Connacht’s Eoin Griffin
Connacht’s Eoin Griffin

Declan Rooney

Connacht coach Pat Lam has said that a possible move by centre Eoin Griffin to Munster is nothing more than speculation.

Lam said that contract talks with the 23-year-old are ongoing and he is hopeful of keeping the talented Galway native at the Sportsground.

Rumours of Griffin's switch to Thomond Park have intensified following confirmation that Casey Laulala is to leave Munster at the end of the season.

Griffin, who was part of the Ireland emerging squad that went to Georgia in the summer, is regarded as an ideal replacement for the former All Black.

But Lam dismissed the link as speculation and is determined to extend the former Irish U-20 international's contract to beyond the summer.

"It's all just rumours that are flying around. The most important thing is us in Connacht rugby and Eoin Griffin. Those are the only two sources that you need listen to," said Lam.

"Everyone is the same at this stage, everyone is in negotiations, everyone is having their talks and trying to concentrate on the season ahead."

Academy graduate Griffin has scored four tries in 56 competitive appearances for the province and is likely to line out for Lam's side when they face Munster at Thomond Park on December 27.

On the back of Laulala's summer departure, Munster coach Rob Penney was at pains to point out that Munster can no longer match the French and English sides in terms of financial clout. It is time to look to markets closer to home for a promising centre, he hinted.

"We are not going to be able to (match French wages). Well, we'd love (a good centre) but they are not easy to find. If you go through the list, there is some challenges in finding one and there is an affordability issue as well. But that's the challenge that we have to make when we find the right person and get into negotiations," he said.

Meanwhile, Penney moved to rubbish reports that World Cup-winning All Black hooker Andrew Hore could be on his way to Thomond Park to plug the hole vacated by the injured Mike Sherry. According to the coach there is zero truth in the rumours.

"Pie in the sky," he said. "Just because it's printed doesn't mean it's real," Penney said.

Irish Independent

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