Tuesday 25 October 2016

Connacht cannot afford to construct a 'House of Cards'

Pat Lam
Pat Lam

Connacht laid out their vision for the next four years at The Aviva Stadium yesterday.

"It's setting out what it is we're working towards, what we hope to achieve, and how we are going to achieve it," said their Chief Executive Willie Ruane.

The possibility of moving away from The Sportsground is part of the strategy to expand to a stadium capacity of 10,000. "The stadium is something we have as one of our utmost priorities," Ruane said.

"We have two options, one is staying and we're in discussion with the IGB (Irish Greyhound Board) and it has to be a shared vision.

"The other is moving and we believe we have some strong potential in that area."

This is all very well and good and puts in place a long-term look to continue Connacht's progress from poor relations to equal status province.

However, it could all be building nothing more solid than a 'House of Cards' should coach Pat Lam follow Ireland stalwart Robbie Henshaw and lineout lynchpin Aly Muldowney out the door.

The mention of Lam in a dispatch from England as a contender to succeed Mike Ford as lead man at Bath prompted an unconvincing response from him. "My outlook is that there's two types of job in the world," he said.

"There's the jobs you have to do and there's the jobs you love to do. Sometimes you have to do the jobs you have to do to finally do the jobs you love to do."

The fact is Lam has two more seasons left on his Connacht contract, albeit with a get-out clause inserted, perhaps for openings like the one at Bath.

The nature of the game demands a week-to-week focus.

This may be compromised by the chat about Lam's whereabouts next season.

It could also be corrupted by the decision of Connacht players to take the law into their own hands when it came to the location of Henshaw's stolen lap top last week.

This all comes ahead of Connacht's first semi-final this Saturday at home against Glasgow (6.30).

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