Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Rugby: Lam to join team after job interview

Blues coach Pat Lam will follow his team to Canberra tomorrow after presenting his case to continue leading the group next season.

He would not offer any clues about his preferred coaching group or his presentation strategy to convince the interview panel he should continue into his fifth season and beyond with the Blues.

He was the wrong person to be asked whether his interview was a courtesy after his coaching stint.

"It is not my call. I just put my name in for the job and see what happens," he said.

"I am the head coach now and they are looking for a head coach so there's no talk about an assistant. The job that's available is the head coach."

Lam expected to be interviewed for an hour or so and said his case for retention was something he would reveal only to the panel.

If he was not successful there were a variety of rugby coaching options he would pursue as a career coach.

He did not believe this year's run of poor results has damaged his claim for retention by the Blues but he would detail those arguments to his questioners tomorrow.

His current work ends on Saturday with the Blues' final match against the Australian conference leaders, the Brumbies, and he would not allow his interview to distract him from that final task. "This is the job I have, this is the job I have to do and that is what I am focused on," he said.

"Once I have no job then I'll go find another job and that has always been my life right through and I have always been employed."

Lam said choices from his original squad had been trimmed by 16 for the final match with utility back Rene Ranger the latest casualty after a groin injury, ruling out his chance of a 50th appearance.

Tighthead prop Charlie Faumuina had recovered from his torn calf muscle and would boost the front row, with captain Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock.

"It's great news for us. Charlie has been a big loss at tighthead so he's going to make a big difference and he's excited and ready to go," Lam said.

Young forward Steven Luatua would switch to lock because of the injury crisis which had knocked out Ali Williams, Anthony Boric and the suspension of Liaki Moli.

Luatua had played lock for most of his career and while his future was likely to be as a blindside flanker, he would revert to lock for this final match.

- NZ Herald

Stats provided by

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 01 Sep 2014 00:14:58 Processing Time: 508ms