Sir Ian McGeechan has hailed former Northampton Saints No.8 and current Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam, describing the 51-year-old as “incredible”. 

Lam was part of McGeechan’s side at Northampton Saints who enjoyed domestic success, before going on to win the Heineken Cup in 2000 after a narrow 9-8 win over Munster Rugby in the final at Twickenham. 

“He’s an incredible person, Pat,” said the former British and Irish Lions head coach. He’s the type of player who as a coach, you learn so much from. 

“I’m delighted Pat is doing well and we still pick up on the phone at times and just chat so I’m just delighted to see how well he is doing. 

“He’s a tremendous coach for people as well and he’s got a fantastic environment now at Bristol and they are going to be one of the teams to watch I think.” 

McGeechan also admitted he was delighted to leave the East Midlands club in fine form, even if he wasn’t able to lift the Heineken Cup with the Saints. 

“I’m just pleased I left them in good shape,” he added. It took us good few years to get to the rugby we had a consistency with and the breakthrough year was 98-99.

“I think we put 50 points on Bath and Newcastle so we were playing fantastic rugby at the time. 

“We started the following season by beating Leicester by 40 points so going into that season, I felt that Northampton were getting to the point where they could beat anybody. 

“I didn’t really want to leave but my wife was ill and we had to try and move on. She had a guilt complex for seven years until I won it at Wasps and I think she felt that she could relax again!” 

Listen to the full Champions Rugby Show with Sir Ian McGeechan HERE.