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Chiefs coach Keane signs with Connacht

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/02/2017 By Nick Purewal

Irish club Connacht will replace departing head coach Pat Lam with another New Zealander, Chiefs assistant Kieran Keane.

Chiefs attack coach Keane has signed a three-year deal to move to Galway and will shift following this year's Super Rugby campaign.

Keane will also go toe-to-toe with current boss Dave Rennie in the next Pro12 championship, when the Chiefs head coach takes the reins at Glasgow Warriors.

Connacht chief executive Willie Ruane hailed the appointment of an experienced, attack-minded coach who can continue the trends ushered in by Lam, who joins Bristol in the summer.

"Kieran's rugby CV speaks for itself and immediately highlighted to us that he was the perfect fit for Connacht Rugby in the context of the profile of coach that we were looking for," Ruane 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."

Keane represented Canterbury as a midfield back for nine seasons until 1985. He played six games for the All Blacks but no Tests in 1979.

The former school teacher became a first class coach with Marlborough, followed by stints with Hawke's Bay, Tasman and the Chiefs.

Keane says on a recent trip to Galway it became apparent the new role was one which would suit him.

"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," he said.

"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."

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