Pat Lam lays startling accusation at IRFU's door
Let's hope Pat Lam's departure from Connacht later this year does not turn into one long, nasty break-up.
The Connacht coach is off to Bristol next season but has already stated his reasons to step out from beneath the IRFU's umbrella.
Lam has bigger issues on his mind right now. Ahead of their Guinness PRO12 game against Munster on New Year's Eve, Connacht issued an injury updated that featured the names of 22 players. The updates were mostly negative.
They lost that game 16-9 and have also lost more players. Ultan Dillane is out for 'five or six weeks' while Jack Carty, John Muldoon and Nepia Fox-Matamua will all miss the next league game at least.
Carty's latest injury blow is the one that has Lam and Connacht in a tizzy. With Marnitz Boshoff, Shane O'Leary and Craig Ronaldson all on the sidelines, the westerners are woefully short of outhalf cover.
Lam felt he had the perfect solution in a Plan B (or Plan E) that he had conceived as far back as September. Mitch Lam, his son, arrived in Galway and started lining out for Galwegians before playing a couple of games with Connacht Eagles.
He trained with the senior Connacht squad so he could get used to the plays and calls if he was needed in a time of crisis. That crisis is upon Connacht now but Lam claims the IRFU has rejected the notion of his son lining out for the province... for free. Lam told freelance reporter John Fallon:
"It was just turned down by the IRFU because he is a foreigner.
"Mitch was going to cost nothing; he’s my son, so I wasn’t going to charge Connacht Rugby."
With the request rejected, Lam is now set to play scrum-half Caolin Blade in the No.10 jersey in this weekend's away date with Ospreys. Versatile back Rory Parata is also training as outhalf for the past couple of weeks with fullback Tiernan O'Halloran as emergency cover for the emergency cover.
Lam admits Connacht could have looked at an outhalf playing Ulster Bank Rugby but that player would need three or four weeks to learn all the necessary plays.