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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, September 22nd 2020

Focused Luatua eyeing maiden European final

Steven Luatua says reaching a maiden European final would be the perfect way to repay the club’s loyal supporters, as the Bears prepare to take on French Top 14 giants Bordeaux-Bègles at Ashton Gate on Friday night.

The Bears ran in seven tries to see off Dragons in the quarter final, but the captain says a huge challenge awaits them in the last four.

'Bordeaux a huge challenge'

“We haven’t played Bordeaux before, so we’ve had to put a lot of work into it and watch a lot of footage,” he said.

“We’ve been preparing well and come the weekend, we’ll be ready. We know it will be a tough challenge against a side who finished top of the French league last season, but we’ll be ready.”

After months of lockdown and long break in the season, Luatua says the Bears are enjoying being back in action and insists winning silverware remains the sole ambition.

“It’s been great to get out there and do what we love. It makes you realise how much you love playing rugby and it’s so good to be back.

“Reaching a final would mean a lot of things, but for us, winning a trophy was one of our goals this year and all of the hard work that we’ve put in, it would just be great to see us walk away with something.

'Giving something back to the fans'

“I’ve seen these guys doing the early starts and the late finishes, the coaches and the amount of work they have put in, it would be great for everyone to walk away with something.

“But also, for the fans – they’ve been with us from the get-go and they’ve been part of our journey, so it would be nice to give something back to them. It’s one game away from the final now, so we’re keen to get there.”

One man who has led the Bears’ charge post lockdown has been Fijian flyer, Semi Radradra – and Luatua hailed the former Bordeaux centre for being ‘a good team man’.

“I knew he (Semi) was an athlete but seeing him run around and through people first-hand – and man, that guy is special.

“We certainly glad he’s on our team – what a special player to play alongside and he makes my job as captain very easy.

“He’s been a good team man, always doing his role, which is something we’ve been huge on during this last couple of weeks.


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