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Will Carpenter

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Posted Wednesday, March 25th 2020

Bris Legends interviews: Agustin Pichot

Charismatic, captivating and undoubtedly one of the most talented every to pull on the blue and white hoops, Agustin Pichot holds a special place in the hearts of Bristol supporters.

The scintillating Argentine scrum half arrived in the West Country in 1999 and went on to make 101 appearances, scoring 22 tries in an unforgettable four-year stint.

And reflecting on his spell at Bristol, Pichot insists his adoration of both the club and the city remains strong more than 20 years on.

“I had an amazing time at the club,” he said. “I loved every second of it and gained friends forever - people that still today are close to me, and others that I will always keep in my heart.

“The fans were amazing, and I still keep the player of the year trophy from them as one of the best prizes I ever received.

“My daughter was also born in Bristol, so that has a very strong feeling for me and her.”

Pichot joined Bristol ahead of the 1999-2000 season following the club’s return to the Allied Dunbar Premiership One under Bob Dwyer’s coaching. He had previously played for Richmond, and joined the club straight after the 1999 World Cup, forming a partnership initially with South African Henry Honiball and in subsequent seasons, with another Argentinian and Bristol legend, Felipe Contepomi.

“The project from Bob Dwyer (Head Coach) and Malcolm Pearce (Owner) really seduced me, and I wanted to try and do well,” Pichot continued.

Pichot celebrates a victory over Bath at Ashton Gate in 2003.

“I had a lot of respect for Bob and then I become close to Malcolm and his family; they loved rugby and that passion for the game gave me no doubt about joining Bristol.

“I had the chance of making great friends and was honoured to play with such amazing players. I can also say I had the honour of playing for Bristol with two of the best number 10s in the modern game - Felipe and Henry – as well as amazing internationals from all over the world.”

Born in Buenos Aires, Pichot attended the city’s university and emulated his father and older brother by playing for the San Isidro club. He scored a try on his Argentinian debut against Australia in 1995 and won 71 caps for the Pumas during a decorated career. He later captained his country to third place in the 2007 World Cup.

Of the many Pichot-inspired memories held by Bristol supporters – from a 1999/00 season thrashing of Sale Sharks, to a thrilling last-minute win at Northampton during the same season - his standout memory is an easy one to pick.

“I had an amazing time at the club. I loved every second of it and gained friends forever - people that still today are close to me, and others that I will always keep in my heart."

Agustin Pichot

“They were a lot of challenges during the last part of my time in the club; but we always enjoyed playing for the club. The team was special and the game that showed that was the West Country derby in 2003 against Bath in Ashton Gate.”

Fast-forward 17 years and the current Bristol side sit third in the Gallagher Premiership, with two more memorable derby wins over Bath in the bag – and Pichot insists he still follows the club’s fortunes with interest.

“I have always (followed Bristol’s results) and can only say that I want the best for the team every time they play.

“I was looking forward for the final weeks of the season and I enjoy watching Pat Lam’s coaching - he has always been an amazing leader.”

The Argentine’s flair, vision and all-round X-factor ability thrilled the Memorial Stadium faithful throughout his tenure in the West Country, but asked what makes Bristol such a special club, Pichot replied: “The people from Bristol – I will never ever forget them.”