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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, July 10th 2019

'Bears relishing derby opener' - Lam

Pat Lam says Bristol Bears are relishing their opening day derby clash against Bath at Ashton Gate, after the Gallagher Premiership fixtures were revealed this morning.

Bristol will host their West Country rivals in the league curtain raiser for the second successive year on Friday, October 18th (7.45pm KO, live on BT Sport), and the Director of Rugby insists the Bears are ‘excited’ for another blockbuster occasion.

“So many people remember that day last season, and to have that again, kicking off the competition on a Friday night, it’s amazing and those tickets will go hot because it was such a great evening,” said Lam.

“Both sides are another year stronger and we’re really excited by it – we can’t wait.

“What made it really special last season was the full house. To have 26,000 people there, the whole atmosphere was unbelievable – the fireworks going off, but also the rugby played that night to kick it off was a great advertisement for our game and for the Gallagher Premiership.”

Lam, beginning his third season in charge at Ashton Gate, believes his squad will benefit from the top-flight experience gained last season, in which Bristol finished ninth and secured the highest points tally from a promoted side in 12 seasons.

“We’re so far down the track because so many of the boys here now have been here from when I first started,” he said.

“There’s a really good understanding, good leadership, and the boys have embraced Nathan (Hughes) and Dave (Attwood) and the other guys who have come in.

“We were just commenting how much easier it is culture wise and leadership wise, because the boys are all further down the track and leading the show.

“To do it again a year down the track with so many players now having experience in the Premiership is exciting.”

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