Connacht Rugby has today announced that Kieran Keane will be the province's new head coach.
Keane will join up with the side in the summer having signed a three-year contract.
The former All-Black joins Connacht from the Super Rugby side the Chiefs, where he currently works as Assistant Coach to Dave Rennie.
Keane will replace Pat Lam, who will depart the Sportsgrounds for Bristol at the end of the season having guided Connacht to the Pro 12 title last year.
Keane commented that he was taken by the ambition of the club.
"During my recent trip to the West of Ireland, I had the chance to meet many people within Connacht Rugby and I was immediately taken by the genuine passion they have for the people they represent and the ambition they have to achieve so much more.
"It was clear very early on in our discussions that Connacht Rugby was a good fit for me and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and to working with the players and everyone associated with the club.”
Connacht CEO Willie Ruane welcomed the announcement saying:
"Following a rigorous process, we are delighted to be able to confirm the appointment of Kieran as our new Head Coach.
"Kieran's rugby CV speaks for itself and immediately highlighted to us that he was the perfect fit for Connacht Rugby in the context of the profile of coach that we were looking for.
"Kieran is a highly experienced Head Coach with a winning track record and a proven ability in identifying talent and maximising the full potential of that talent. His ambitious and exciting brand of rugby is also consistent with the way Connacht Rugby and in particular our players want to continue to play the game into the future.
"Everyone at Connacht Rugby is extremely excited about the future and Kieran's appointment is key to helping us achieve the level of sustained and consistent success that we are all working towards. Before he starts, there is a lot of rugby to be played and I know Pat and the team are fully focused on delivering a really strong finish to the current season”.
NEWS-Delighted to confirm that Kieran Keane has been appointed Connacht Rugby Head Coach ahead of the 2017/18 season https://t.co/HWE96TuEz4 pic.twitter.com/D5jI3700Fw— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) February 20, 2017
Keane previously served an assistant coach at the Highlanders from 2011 to 2012 and as Head Coach of the Tasman Mako.
'KK' led the team to an ITM Cup Championship victory and promotion into the Premiership in 2013.
He also coached the New Zealand U-16 and U-17 age grade sides for seven years while in his playing career he earned six caps for the All Blacks in 1979, represented Canterbury for 10 seasons and played for New Zealand Universities.