Sunday 25 June 2017

Pat Lam slams All Blacks boss Steve Hansen for 'personal insult to me and my family'

Pat Lam and Steve Hansen are at loggerheads
Pat Lam and Steve Hansen are at loggerheads
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has hit back at New Zealand boss Steven Hansen for branding him 'an ex-New Zealander'.

Hansen launched the attack on Lam after All Blacks prospect Steven Luatua agreed a summer move to Bristol, where Lam will coach next season onwards.

By moving to Bristoll, Luatua cannot appear for the Kiwis due to the fact that New Zealand only pick home-based players.

The All Blacks boss claimed that  Luatua had "been tapped on the shoulder by Pat Lam", adding: "If you're an ex-New Zealander you should be a bit mindful about players' careers."

Hansen's dig stems from the fact that Lam earned one cap with the All Blacks before going on to represent Samoa at three World Cups.

Lam was clearly irked by Hansen's hit back at Hansen's incendiary remarks.

"I am not sure why Steve Hansen would unprecedentedly choose to single me out publicly and call me an 'ex-New Zealander'. I am a proud New Zealander and I'm also proud to be a Pacific Islander," he said.

"The only reason we don't live in New Zealand at the moment is I had an opportunity to continue to coach rugby professionally in Ireland and support my family after being sacked by the NZRU and the Blues.

"Did Steve Hansen consider himself an ex-New Zealander when he chose to leave New Zealand and coach the Wales national team against the All Blacks? [Hansen was Wales boss from 2002-4].

"Myself and I'm sure many other New Zealanders who are living and working overseas do not consider ourselves ex-New Zealanders just because we are not living in New Zealand.

"When I have joined the thousands of other northern-based Kiwis who attended and cheered on the All Blacks in their Test matches in the northern hemisphere we certainly didn't do so as ex-New Zealanders."

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