Pat Lam ha annunciato l’addio a Connacht al termine della stagione in corso.
L’head coach del “miracolo”, l’uomo che ha portato la Cinderella del rugby irlandese sul trono celtico lo scorso anno, sarà il nuovo head coach di Bristol Rugby e, molto probabilmente, gli verrà affidata la rifondazione del club.
Nonostante manchino ancora molte giornate al termine della stagione, infatti, Bristol sembra ormai destinato a retrocedere in Championship ad un solo anno dal faticosissimo ritorno nel “paradiso” del rugby domestico inglese, l’Aviva Premiership. Il club dell’Ashton Gate siede sul fondo della classifica, con quattro punti di bonus raccolti in dieci partite – dove i rossoblu hanno finora conosciuto solo sconfitte e già cambiato guida tecnica, con Andy Robinson che è stato esonerato un mese fa.
“Pat was the outstanding candidate in our search for a new Head Coach and impressed the board with his coaching ability, experience and enthusiasm for the task ahead. We’re very pleased to appoint an individual of his quality”, ha detto il presidente di Bristol, Chris Booy, nel comunicato ufficiale emesso dal club.
“The board has been patient in our approach to ensure we have the right man to take this Club forward in the long term. Pat has transformed a Connacht team into Pro12 champions and we believe he can build a squad, a culture and an environment that can be successful in the Aviva Premiership.”
Pat Lam ha parlato al sito ufficiale di Connacht dicendo che quella appena annunciata è stata “one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my life as Connacht and Galway is such a special place for myself and my family. The friendships, support and memories we all have experienced throughout our time in the West of Ireland is truly heartfelt and will never be forgotten. I feel extremely blessed to have been given an opportunity four years ago to build on the excellent work of Eric Elwood. I’m very proud that I can now pass on the baton with the knowledge that Connacht Rugby is truly seen as one of four strong provinces of Irish rugby. Rugby should never be about the individual as players and coaches will always come and go. We have worked hard to have the structures and systems in place to ensure the future success of the province for our community. I truly believe that through our strategic plan and the vision of Grassroots to Green Shirts, Connacht Rugby is in an extremely strong place going forward. There is a lot of rugby to be played between now and the end of the season and myself, our management team and the players are fully committed to our goals on and off the pitch. We are heading in to Champions Cup rugby this week on the back of so much hard work over the last number of years. We want to continue to inspire our community and we have many more opportunities on and off the field to do that this season.”