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Connacht Announce Kieran Keane As New Head Coach
- Updated: February 20, 2017
Today, Connacht have announced that former All Black Kieran Keane will join them at the start of the 2017/2018 season as their new head coach, following Pat Lam’s departure for Bristol at the end of the season.
Keane is joining Connacht from Super Rugby side Chiefs where he is an attack coach under Dave Rennie. Keane’s work with the Chiefs has been impressive with the side scoring 76 tries in the 2016 season.
He has also worked previously as an assistant coach with the Highlanders and as head coach of Tasman Makos. As head coach of Makos, Keane succeeded in gaining promotion for the side from the ITM Championship to the Premiership in 2013, then leading them to the final of the Premiership in 2014, losing to Taranaki.
Keane will be taking on a well-formed side in Connacht, with Pat Lam leaving a strong foundation behind him. Before Lam’s tenure, Connacht had never finished higher on the league table than 8th. In three years Lam managed to lead them to their first ever major trophy, winning the Pro12 in 2015/2016.
Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane has said:
“Kieran is a highly experienced Head Coach with a winning track record and a proven ability in identifying talent and maximising the full potential of that talent. His ambitious and exciting brand of rugby is also consistent with the way Connacht Rugby and in particular our players want to continue to play the game into the future.”
Keane has commented on his appointment saying:
“During my recent trip to the West of Ireland, I had the chance to meet many people within Connacht Rugby and I was immediately taken by the genuine passion they have for the people they represent and the ambition they have to achieve so much more.
“It was clear very early on in our discussions that Connacht Rugby was a good fit for me and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and to working with the players and everyone associated with the club.”
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