Euro axe claims another victim
A statement reads: “Connacht Rugby and the IRFU confirm Kieran Keane that Kieran Keane will depart the province with immediate effect.”
Following the announcement, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane wished Kieran Keane well for the future: “After an assessment of the direction in which Connacht Rugby was going, we have come to an agreement with Kieran Keane that he will leave the province with immediate effect. I would like to thank Kieran Keane for his efforts with Connacht Rugby this season and wish him well for the future.”
Commenting on the replacement process, Willie Ruane added: “In conjunction with the IRFU we will now begin the process of recruiting a new Head Coach”.
Keane took over from Pat Lam in May, 2017.
The former All Black joined Connacht from the Chiefs, where he worked as Assistant Coach to Dave Rennie. With Keane heading up Attack, the Super Rugby side scored an impressive 76 tries in 17 games during the 2016 campaign.
Keane, a former school teacher, also had a spell as Assistant Coach to Jamie Joseph at the Highlanders from 2011 to 2012 but it was in his role as Head Coach of the Tasman Makos that the man, more commonly known as KK, made his greatest mark.
During his tenure with the Makos, Keane led the team to an ITM Cup Championship victory and promotion into the Premiership in 2013. The following year, he took them to the Premiership Final, which they ultimately lost to Taranaki. As well as shaping their attacking style of rugby, Keane helped promote more than 15 players to Super Rugby during his time with the province.
Keane coached the New Zealand U-16 and U-17 age grade sides for seven years as well as the Marlborough and Hawkes Bay NPC sides. A centre in his youth, he played six times for the All Blacks in 1979, represented Canterbury for 10 seasons and played for New Zealand Universities.