Alan Quinlan says Pat Lam will "be a loss to Irish rugby"

The Connacht coach is to leave Galway at the end of the season

BY Daniel Kelly 11:39 Monday 5 December 2016, 11:39 5 Dec 2016

Connacht head coach Pat Lam talks to Alan Quinlan Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Pat Lam's impending departure from Connacht has shocked the rugby world.

Lam is to join Bristol next season. He spent four seasons at The Sportsgrounds, with the highlight undoubtedly being the Pro12 triumph last season.

Newstalk Breakfast's Alan Quinlan has followed Lam's Connacht tenure since 2013, and the former Munster star thinks Lam's legacy will be his biggest achievement in Galway.

"He's been a revelation since he's arrived in Connacht. Winning the Pro12 last year was an unbelievable achievement. Not just the winning of the Pro12, it was the way how they played throughout the season."

"He's achieved so much though. Being touted as a successor to Joe Schmidt to coach Ireland until Schmidt signed his contract. He's done an incredible job. He's incredibly liked around the rugby world."

"There's a lot of great foundations. He can be very proud of what he achieved there and those foundations he has put in place... He will be a loss to Irish rugby."

Lam took charge of a Connacht team that finished in eighth in the Pro12, guiding them to the title only three season later. Quinlan feels the head coach position is now a very attractive one in Galway.

"The whole perception of Connacht has changed under Lam. We have seen the ambition of the side with the re-signings of Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane. It's a big job. They have taken massive strides forward. It will be an appealing proposition for many coaches worldwide."

"They'll try and get the best coach available, where it's a domestic coach or abroad. They've got to strive for the best."

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