New Contender Emerges To Take Over From Pat Lam At Connacht
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Former Leinster assistant coach Jono Gibbes has emerged as a contender to take over from Pat Lam as Connacht’s head coach next season.
Connacht fans were left shocked this week by the announcement that their head coach, Pat Lam would be leaving the Sportsground at the end of the season. The former Samoa captain has completely transformed the province in his time there, leading them to the PRO12 title last season.
The Kiwi had another year to run on the contract he signed in 2015, but has come to an agreement with Connacht to leave and has described the decision as “one of the most difficult I’ve had to make in my life”
Aviva Premiership strugglers Bristol revealed shortly after the shocking announcement that the former Samoa captain would be taking over as their new head coach next season.
Plenty of names have been linked with the role in recent days including former Connacht hooker and current Grenoble coach, Bernard Jackman, but it has now emerged that Gibbes is now in contention for the coveted role.
The New Zealander is currently working as an assistant coach to Franck Azéma at Top 14 club Clermont and last year extended his contract in France until the summer of 2018, but The42 is reporting that Gibbes may be available due to a clause in his deal relating to head coaching positions
Gibbes will be in Ireland this weekend for Clermont’s Champions Cup meeting with Ulster and Connacht officials may look to take the opportunity to meet him during that visit.