Sport Connacht Rugby

Sunday 22 September 2019

Lam steps back from recruitment at Connacht

Connacht coach Pat Lam. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht coach Pat Lam. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Connacht coach Pat Lam has revealed he is no longer involved in re-signing players at the Sportsground or in contract talks with potential new recruits.

That is now being handled by team manager Tim Allnutt and chief executive Willie Ruane following Lam's shock announcement earlier this month that he is moving to take over Bristol next summer.

Lam said he continues to share the Connacht vision with players and wants to make sure he leaves the Sportsground in a strong position, but he has stepped back from contract talks.

"That's more now with Tim and Willie, which is important. I have got a couple of emails sent to me today and I forwarded it on and said no I don't need to be a part of anything past this year.

"But certainly my discussions with the players at the moment is very much around the continued vision and future.

"Players will still come and ask me for advice about what they should do."

Connacht are continuing to build for next season on the field while the hunt goes on for a new coach, with Roscommon natives Denis Buckley and Jack Carty yesterday signing new two-year deals, while Irish lock Quinn Roux also penned a similar contract extension.

Those deals come on the back of Tom McCartney's three-year deal which was announced on Monday. In most of these cases discussions would have been ongoing prior to Lam's shock announcement.

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"Negotiations are all ongoing, that's the big thing," added Lam.

"When you look at Bundee (Aki), Ultan (Dillane), Tiernan (O'Halloran), Matt (Healy), and Tom, and I know there is going to be more coming. I have been involved in discussions with the players and stuff.

"They understand, most importantly every player makes their decision based on their careers. The biggest thing is they are all enjoying it. They are enjoying everything about Connacht Rugby on and off the field.

"But the structures and systems are in place and there is a clear vision of where we are going. Certainly every day we are getting better and better. As a whole organisation it is great."

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