Former Ireland international and current Grenoble head coach Bernard Jackman has revealed that he’d be interested in talking to Connacht about becoming Pat Lam’s successor.
Lam shocked Irish rugby this week when he announced that he was leaving Connacht at the end of the current season in order to take charge of English side Bristol.
The New Zealander lead Connacht to a stunning Pro12 final victory over Leinster last season but in announcing his intentions so early, has given the province plenty of time to find a replacement.
Jackman, who spent two different spells with Connacht as a player, admits that he would be keen to speak to Connacht about the role and insisted that it’s a job that will be hugely attractive to coaches from all over the world.
Speaking to 2FM’s Game On, Jackman said: "For sure I’d like to talk to them if they found it worth their while talking to me.
"I’ve been massively impressed with what they’ve done. I’ve played there and probably played there in a time when there wasn’t that stability in terms of a strong link with the IRFU.
"Willie Ruane (Connacht CEO) has come in and given them real clarity in terms of what they want to build.
"The Connacht job is incredibly attractive for anybody."
Jackman is currently the bookmaker’s favourite to replace Lam, but he does not believe that any regard should be placed on that fact.
"The bookies drive nice cars for a reason, so I wouldn’t be getting carried away with the bookies’ list," he said.
"I’m under contract here and I’ve got a big challenge to try and get this club out of the relegation zone so I think all that stuff is just talk."
The Grenoble boss does not believe however that his stature as a former Connacht player and Ireland international would offer him any advantage where he to apply for the job.
Jackman believes that the IRFU will pick the best candidate for the position regardless of where they come from and that they’ll have their pick of head coaches.
"That job will go to however is the best candidate," he insisted. "The IRFU have shown that they’re happy to bring in world class coaches as head coaches and assistants no matter where they’re from and that’s right.
"Players in Ireland deserve to have the best coaches there because your career is very short and that job will attract guys from all over the world.
"Working in Ireland for any of the four provinces is something that every coach in the world realises that they’re going to go into an environment where the players are very professional, your support staff is very professional and the union give you the tools that you need."