Nigel Carolan distances himself from upcoming Connacht vacancy

Ireland under-20 head coach won't be replacing Pat Lam

Nigel Carolan, Ireland under 20, Connacht,

Head Coach Nigel Carolan ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ireland under-20 head coach Nigel Carolan has distanced himself from the possibility of succeeding Pat Lam at Connacht.

Lam will depart Connacht at the end of the current Guinness Pro 12 season after four years in charge in order to take on the head coach reins at English Premiership club Bristol Rugby.

The New Zealand native will leave a rich legacy at the Irish province, having taken them to heights they had never experienced.

Lam led Connacht to Guinness Pro 12 glory in 2015-16 and also helped them to a competitive showing in this season's European Rugby Champions Cup.

While he is Ireland's under-20 head coach, Carolan is also Academy Manager at Connacht Rugby.

He has been linked with the role of succeeding Lam, but has ruled himself out of the running.

"I'm happy doing what I am doing at the moment. It is not to say that down the road it is not something I would be interested in but I am happy doing what I am doing now," he told the Irish Independent.

"I have two small kids. Going to work for me is not a job, it's like a vocation. Working with the Connacht academy and this year seeing some of those guys come through, getting capped on the Irish side, makes life really easy as a job.

"To roll the dice as a professional coach does and you are depending on players, decisions, weather, referees, it's a big decision to go down that road and they deserve everything that they get."

Carolan led Ireland to the silver medal at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in 2016, losing to hosts England's in the final.