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Bernard Jackman The Early Favourite To Replace Pat Lam At Connacht

READING, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Grenoble head coach Bernard Jackman looks on ahead of the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between London Irish and Grenoble at Madejski Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Reading, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

Bernard Jackman sits high among the early forecasted favourites to replace Lam at Connacht.

Following the news today that Connacht’s much lauded head coach will be swapping the helm of Guinness Pro12 champions for potential second tier English rugby next season, names are already being touted as to who will take the hot seat in Galway.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 11: Embattled Blues coach Pat Lam during the round 12 Super Rugby match between the Blues and the Lions at Eden Park on May 11, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Shane Wenzlick/Getty Images)

Paddy Power confirm that the former Connacht and Leinster hooker is in pole position at 5-1 to take the baton from the former Samoan captain. Just behind “Birch ” at 8-1 is Glasgow Assistant Coach Dan McFarland, with Eddie O’Sullivan (12-1) close behind. Stuart Lancaster (16-1) and Eric Elwood  (20-1) round up the top five candidates, according to the bookmaker.

Jackman has been instrumental in an impressive period for Grenoble in the Top 14. A climb from the second tier of rugby to tussling with the might of the French’s finest now sees the club languish at the foot of the table with only two wins from thirteen games. The Irishman is still highly thought of at the French outfit having been appointed as Director of Rugby this year until 2017, however.

Grenoble coach Bernard Jackman during the Top 14 match between Racing 92 and Grenoble on November 19, 2016 in Colombes, France. (Photo by Dave Winter/Icon Sport) (Photo by Dave Winter/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

It is no secret that  Grenoble’s head honcho has designs to coach in Ireland. Could the former Connacht forward return to the team where he began his provincial rugby? The ex-forward’s ties to the province are undoubted, with a total of five seasons spent with there in two spells.  Jackman is a former colleague of  “The Devil’s Own” CEO Willie Ruane and Eric Elwood, among others out west. Grenoble’s manager, and former Connacht lock Andrew Farley, is yet another connection.

With an impressive resume and experience of coaching Irish clubs, Jackman has surely warranted the attention and speculation as to his next step in his rugby career. It was only last year that Jackman was allegedly speculated to take over from Joe Schmidt at Ireland, so time will only tell.

Adam Haynes, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.