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Connacht: Kieran Keane ends tenure as head coach

Connacht: Kieran Keane ends tenure as head coach
Connacht: Kieran Keane ends tenure as head coach
Keane (left) with backs coach Nigel Carolan, who will be among the favourites to replace him at the Sportsground

Connacht coach Kieran Keane has left the province after just one season.

Keane has parted company with the Irish province after a disappointing campaign in which the team finished second-from-bottom in Conference A of the Pro14.

The New Zealand-born coach succeeded Pat Lam on a three-year deal but the 2016 champions won just seven of their 21 league games in his debut season.

Connacht missed out on Champions Cup qualification and lost to Gloucester in their Challenge Cup quarter-final.

In spite of their below-par performances, Connacht finished their season with a flourish when they thrashed Leinster at the Sportsground.

The seven-try rout of the Champion Cup finalists provided an emotionally-charged send off for retiring captain John Muldoon and also appeared to give Keane a platform to build on for next season.

The former Chiefs assistant coach said planned to hold a robust review of his first season in charge in the coming weeks but Connacht have instead decided to begin the search for his replacement.

Assistant coach Nigel Carolan, who was previously Ireland Under-20s head coach, is likely to be among the candidates linked with the vacant job.

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