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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, December 10th 2020

'Champions Cup the ultimate' - Lam

Pat Lam says the Bears are excited and relishing the challenge as they prepare to end a 12-year wait for Champions Cup rugby against French giants ASM Clermont Auvergne at Ashton Gate on Saturday (1pm KO, live on Channel 4 and BT Sport 2 HD).

Clermont arrive in the West Country sitting fourth in the Top 14, and Lam says his side are well aware of the task they face this weekend, but not satisfied with merely taking part in Europe’s elite competition.

'We have to go after the star'

“I’m massively excited. It’s in our vision to be a team that consistently, year-on-year and forever, contests the Champions Cup,” said Lam.

“But I don’t want us to be a club which just gets into Europe and are happy to be in it. We have got to go after the star, go after the trophy. It is so exciting to be involved.

“Pretty much everyone who won the Challenge Cup is still here. We know as a group what it took to win that and that emphasises that if you do the work, you get the rewards, but we said after the final we will have to go up another level now.

“These are the sort of games you want, because they grow you as a club, grow you as players and give you really good recognition of being a part of big-time rugby.

'Clermont have world class players'

“This is our first time in the Champions Cup as a club, as a group, for many years, but we don't see that as a negative, we see it as a positive.

“You look at Clermont and they’re going really well in the TOP 14, sitting fourth behind La Rochelle, Toulouse and Racing 92.

“They have a lot of world-class players - I coached some of them in the Barbarians, so I know the quality.

“They’ve got to the finals and it’s their big dream to win it. To play against them is a good marker of where we are and how far we’ve come as a club.”


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