One Of The Leading Contender’s To Replace Pat Lam At Connacht Admits He’s Interested
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Connacht fans were shocked this week by the news that their head coach Pat Lam will be leaving at the end of the season.
The former Samoa captain will take over at Premiership strugglers Bristol at the end of the season, after he was offered a significant contract, believed to be in the region of a whopping €750,000 per year.
CEO Willie Ruane has admitted that they have already begun the search for a successor with a number of high-profile names linked with the prestigious role in recent days. One of those names is former Connacht hooker and current Grenoble coach, Bernard Jackman.
Jackman has done an excellent job with the French side in recent years and has now come out today and revealed that he would be interested in talking to Connacht about possibly becoming Pat Lam’s successor.
The Irishman has admitted that he would be keen to speak to Connacht about the role and insisted that it’s a job that will be hugely attractive to coaches from all over the world.
“For sure I’d like to talk to them if they found it worth their while talking to me.” Jackman said on 2FM’s Game On
“I’ve been massively impressed with what they’ve done. I’ve played there and probably played there in a time when there wasn’t that stability in terms of a strong link with the IRFU.
“Willie Ruane has come in and given them real clarity in terms of what they want to build.
“The Connacht job is incredibly attractive for anybody.”
Jackman is currently the bookmaker’s favourite to replace Lam, but he does not believe that any regard should be placed on that fact.
“The bookies drive nice cars for a reason, so I wouldn’t be getting carried away with the bookies’ list,” he said.
“I’m under contract here and I’ve got a big challenge to try and get this club out of the relegation zone so I think all that stuff is just talk.”
The Top 14 boss however, does not believe however that his stature as a former Connacht player and Ireland international would offer him any advantage where he to apply for the job. Jackman believes that the IRFU will pick the best candidate for the position regardless of where they come from.
“That job will go to however is the best candidate,” he insisted. “The IRFU have shown that they’re happy to bring in world class coaches as head coaches and assistants no matter where they’re from and that’s right.
“Players in Ireland deserve to have the best coaches there because your career is very short and that job will attract guys from all over the world.
“Working in Ireland for any of the four provinces is something that every coach in the world realises that they’re going to go into an environment where the players are very professional, your support staff is very professional and the union give you the tools that you need.”
Would Jackman be a good fit at Connacht?