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"Pat Lam put a stroke through my name..." | John Muldoon's bad first impression

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

22:05 21 May 2020


Connacht legend John Muldoon joined Off the Ball on Thursday for a look back at the provinces PRO14 win in 2016 under Pat Lam.

It is almost four years to the day since the pair combined with Connacht to lift that PRO12 title together. Lam and Muldoon's partnership has endured as the pair work together at Bristol.

However Lam's first impression of his subsequent trophy lifting club captain was far from ideal, although Muldoon was playing out of position.

"Pat arrived about April and was introduced to the squad," remembers Muldoon. "We got told he was going to come to training and might watch a game or two but wasn't going to have a hands-on appointment at that stage, he just wanted to get to know people before he took over.

"The first game that Pat often refers to, the first game he watched was Connacht versus Edinburgh in Edinburgh. I started at number seven and Pat but a stroke through me, 'he's gone.'

"A great start to our relationship."

Connacht Skipper

Lam still wasn't in the Connacht hot seat at the time so Muldoon didn't get a chance to actually speak to his future skipper until a couple of weeks later.

"He was coming and going so he didn't step on anyone's toes," recalled Muldoon. "We were having a bit of a slag. I was saying I'm not a number seven and if he took me on in a sprint, he might possibly win!'

"We were just having a bit of fun and being jovial about it, and he just asked me what position did I preferred, so I said 'number eight' and we talked a bit about it and left it at that, it was more of a passing comment.

"We met in more of a leadership role a couple of weeks later and we had more fo a chat about the team than about myself individually.

"You could tell Pat was very driven and very smart. I thought it was very clever what he did, he came over early so he got to know everyone so he could hit the ground running. He knew he had a lot of work to do and he knew he wanted to change things.

"It was clever to break down the barriers of getting to know someone before the season."

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