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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, January 21st 2020

Attwood relishing derby clash against familiar opposition

Dave Attwood says Bristol Bears are determined to get their Gallagher Premiership campaign back on track when they take on one of his former clubs, Gloucester at Ashton Gate on Saturday (3pm KO).

The Bears are four games without a win in the league, but head into the game off the back of a successful Challenge Cup campaign, finishing unbeaten in Pool Four to set up a home quarter final against Dragons in April.

And Attwood says Bristol can take confidence into Saturday’s West Country derby clash.

“We lost our way a bit in the Premiership over that Christmas period, and no one is more aware of that than we are,” he said.

“We had a couple of good results to push to the top of the pool in Europe, and that’s given us some good mental space around the calibre of team that we can be.

"Last weekend was not a result we are thrilled about and we definitely feel like there is a point to prove, not just in terms of the Premiership, but also in terms of the kind of rugby we play and put out there for the fans – and also our record at Ashton Gate. So, there are plenty of things on the line for us.

Attwood in action against Wasps at Ashton Gate (JMPUK).

“Gloucester are one of the form attacking teams in the Premiership this season. They’ve got some precocious talent across the board, they’ve got a threatening style of rugby that helps to bring the special players they have got out of their shell, allowing them to light up in the way they do.

“So, we’ve got some real threats that we need to address and contain and nullify, but on the other side of that, we need to give our guys the opportunity to do what they do.”

Attwood spent two years at Kingsholm from 2009-2011, playing 47 games for the Cherry and Whites – and the 32-year-old is relishing coming up against his former club.

“It’s always a nice thing to play against a team that you have represented – particularly when there are one of two familiar faces who are still there. Admittedly, it was eight or 10 years ago since I was in the Shed, so there’s not that many familiar faces there anymore, but there’s still a few and that’s a nice element.

“My parents took a real affinity to me being a Gloucester player. They live on the south edge of Gloucester, so they have a lot of friends who are in that camp, and while they very much welcomed me back to Bristol - they’ve followed Bristol for a long time - they are very excited and it will be a good family occasion for me particularly.”

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