Sir Ian McGeechan gives his verdict on Pat Lam as a coach

Sir Ian McGeechan has hailed former Northampton Saints No.8 and current Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam, describing the 51-year-old as “incredible”. 

The Samoan back-rower was part of McGeechan’s side at Northampton Saints who enjoyed domestic success, before going on to win the Heineken Cup in 2000.

“He’s an incredible person, Pat,” said the former British and Irish Lions head coach. “He’s the type of player who as a coach, you learn so much from. 

“I’m delighted Pat is doing well and we still pick up on the phone at times and just chat so I’m just delighted to see how well he is doing. 

“He’s a tremendous coach for people as well and he’s got a fantastic environment now at Bristol and they are going to be one of the teams to watch I think.” 


JOIN THE RUCK


Sir Ian McGeechan picks his dream team

As someone who coached the Lions on four separate tours (and played on two others), Sir Ian McGeechan is better qualified than most to pick an all-time rugby dream team.

This week he has been picking his all-star XV, and here it is!

BACK-THREE

Fullback: JPR Williams (Wales) – “Not a staggeringly original choice, I’ll admit. But to my mind the only one. If I’m going to be picking a dream XV over the next few days then I want JPR at the back. No question.”

Left-wing: Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) – “Illness and injury ultimately slowed him down. But his performances at the 1995 World Cup, just as the game was turning professional, will never be forgotten. The game needed a superstar, and it got one in Lomu. He was brilliant for rugby.”

Right-wing: John Kirwan (New Zealand) – “He had an all round game; he could carry the ball through heavy traffic, he could offload, he was like an extra back-rower at times. Plus, he had natural effortless pace. He ended up scoring 35 tries for the All Blacks and was instrumental as they went through their unbeaten spell of games between 1987 and 1990.”


CENTRES

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – “His ability to get back on his feet after tackling to compete for the ball was extraordinary, and ensured he always had an impact on the game, whatever type of game it was. He was such a natural talent.”

Inside-centre: Philippe Sella (France) – “Sella and O’Driscoll were powerful men. They could stop a forward in his tracks. I think as a pair they would dominate any midfield and I like the thought of them together.”

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