Bristol Rugby have announced the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach.
The 48-year-old Samoan will join the Premiership club in June ahead of the 2017-18 campaign
Lam led Connacht to the Pro12 title last season and recently celebrated his 100th game in charge
Bristol Rugby have appointed Connacht’s Pat Lam as their new head coach from the start of next season following Andy Robinson’s exit last month.
The 48 year-old – who led Connacht to their first ever major trophy in 2016 – will join Bristol in June ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
“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,” Chairman Chris Booy said.
“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.
“Mark Tainton and the existing coaching set-up will continue in their roles with the target of securing our Aviva Premiership survival. They have done an excellent job so far in instilling some real fight and positivity into the players and we are confident that Mark has the ability to keep Bristol in the top flight.”
A Samoan international during his playing days, Lam returns to the English Premiership as a coach after winning the 1997-98 Premiership with Newcastle Falcons and the 2000 Heineken Cup as captain of Northampton Saints.
A coach with a burgeoning reputation and an impressive CV, Lam spent five years as head coach of Auckland and four years as Head Coach of Blues Super Rugby, before joining Connacht in 2013.
He added: “I’m excited about the opportunity to coach and lead Bristol Rugby – a proud club with history, tradition and a bright future ahead.
What appeals to me most after speaking to Steve Lansdown and Chris Booy is their passion, vision and long term commitment to inspire fellow Bristolians worldwide through rugby success on and off the field.
“As with my decision to help Connacht Rugby four years ago, my coaching philosophy is very much aligned to assisting them in making Bristol Rugby a club where the Bristol community can be inspired and Bristol players have a genuine pathway to represent England by the quality of our rugby programme.
“I’m committed to Bristol irrespective as to what happens in the short-term – everything is in place for the club to be a force in the future and I’m honoured to be invited to join the journey.”