Sunday 23 September 2018

Former All Black Keane on Connacht

Kevin Keane. Photo: Getty
Kevin Keane. Photo: Getty

Connacht have ended all speculation about their incoming coach by confirming Kevin Keane has signed a three-year deal.

The positive rugby mindset planted and grown by Pat Lam is certain to be undimmed when the Waikato Chiefs attack coach moves into the role in the summer.

Finally, it will put to bed the loose chat connecting Connacht to every coach from John McKee to Stuart Lancaster since Pat Lam's decision to depart for Bristol.

Former All Black Keane has played the assistant sidekick to Jamie Joseph at the Otago Highlanders (2011-2012) and to Dave Rennie at The Chiefs for the last two seasons.

However, it was over the course of his seven seasons at perennial under-achievers Tasman Makos that Keane made his major impact as a head coach.

The man with six international caps drove drove Tasman to the Ranfurly Shield where they lost an epic final to Taranaki.

This was followed by the Makos best ever season from an ITM Cup Championship victory in 2013.

Perhaps, Keane felt a kindred link from his experience at the underdog, under-resourced Makos

"During my recent trip to the west of Ireland, I had the chance to meet many people within Connacht Rugby," stated Keane.

"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.

"I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and to working with the players and everyone associated with the club."

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