Connacht coach Pat Lam has brushed off All Black boss Steve Hansen’s comments on him being an ‘ex-New Zealander’.
Hansen accused Lam of being an ex-New Zealander after the future Bristol coach signed Steven Luatua to the English club for next season.
The All Black coach was upset about the matter as Luatua cannot play for the All Blacks if he is not contracted to a New Zealand franchise. Hansen added that Lam should have had more concern for Luatua’s career.
Lam, who played for New Zealand and Samoa, questioned why Hansen would blast him in particular.
“I am not sure why Steve Hansen would unprecedentedly choose to single me out publicly and call me an ‘ex-New Zealander,'” Lam said in a statement.
“I am a proud New Zealander and I’m also proud to be a Pacific Islander.
“The only reason we don’t live in New Zealand at the moment is I had an opportunity to continue to coach rugby professionally in Ireland and support my family after being sacked by the NZRU and the Blues.”
The PRO12 winning coach then accused Hansen of hypocrisy after point out that Hansen coached Wales for two years.
“Did Steve Hansen consider himself an ex-New Zealander when he chose to leave New Zealand and coach the Wales national team against the All Blacks?” Lam said.
“Myself and I’m sure many other New Zealanders who are living and working overseas do not consider ourselves ex-New Zealanders just because we are not living in New Zealand.
“When I have joined the thousands of other northern-based Kiwis who attended and cheered on the All Blacks in their test matches in the northern hemisphere we certainly didn’t do so as ex-New Zealanders.”