Rugby

Former All Black Out-Half Is 'Leading Contender' To Succeed Pat Lam

Former All Black Out-Half Is 'Leading Contender' To Succeed Pat Lam

Pat Lam's decision to depart Connacht at the end of this season for Bristol - who are likely to be playing in the second tier of the English game next season - came as a shock to fans.

The New Zealand-born coach kicked Connacht on from what was started by Eric Elwood to a period of prosperity unforeseen and previously unknown at the Sportsground.

Whoever is appointed to succeed Lam will have a major influence whether or not the good times continue in the West.

According to Peter O'Reilly in the Sunday Times, the man who takes over from Lam could be another New Zealander - Tony Brown.

The 41-year-old won 18 caps at out-half for the All Blacks in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Brown was announced as new head coach of Super Rugby side Otago Highlanders during the summer. He had been an assistant coach at the club since 2014 under Jamie Joseph.

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However, Brown's deal with the Highlanders is just for the 2017 season. That would conclude sometime during the summer, depending on how far the Highlanders progress in the competition.

At the time of his appointment by the southern New Zealand franchise, it was said Brown had only agreed to a one-year deal as he was moving to Japan - somewhere he has coached previously - to take up a role with the national team in 2018.

After Japan appointed a series of interim coaches, Jamie Joseph, the man under whom Brown worked with at the Highlanders, was appointed as permanent successor to Eddie Jones and Brown agreed to make the move with him.

Despite this, Brown 'heads the Connacht shortlist' according to O'Reilly.

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PJ Browne
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