George Hook Believes Joe Schmidt Is The Reason Pat Lam Is Leaving Connacht
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Pat Lam’s exit from Connacht may have been influenced by Joe Schmidt’s contract extension with Ireland according to George Hook.
The Kiwi had another year to run on the contract he signed in 2015, but has come to an agreement with Connacht to leave at the end of the season and has described the decision as “one of the most difficult I’ve had to make in my life”.
His departure has come as a big shock to the province with Aviva Premiership strugglers Bristol confirming that he will be taking up a role with the English side following his departure from Connacht.
Speaking to Newstalk.com Hook cited three reasons why he felt Lam has decided to leave Connacht.
“Pat Lam would have looked at the extension of Joe Schmidt, and seen that there were no promotion prospects [within Irish rugby].”
“He won the Pro12 against what I believe all the odds. Despite the way they play, he knows that will be hard to replicate.”
“He knows that he is in charge of a province that gets the least amount of money and support from the IRFU.
If he delivers an outstanding player like Robbie Henshaw, he knows that Henshaw will move to Leinster at the first available opportunity.
In that sense, it’s not a great job.”
Does George Hook have a point? Why do you think Lam decided to leave Connacht?