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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, May 5th 2021

'Fresh and excited for derby clash’ - Lam

Pat Lam is expecting a ‘tough challenge’ when his side make the short trip to The Rec to face a Bath side ‘packed with international quality’ on Saturday (4.30pm KO, live on BT Sport 1 HD).

The Bears ended a 14-year wait for an away win over the West Country rivals in March 2020, with tries from Alapati Leiua, Chris Vui and Harry Randall firing them to a 13-19 victory - and Director of Rugby Lam predicts another physical encounter this weekend.

'Bath packed with quality'

“I think us winning there last season for the first time in a long time shows you how tough it is, and we know how tough it was to win there,” he said.

“I think Bath’s quality of the international players they have, the squad that they have - they are a very physical side up front as well.

“We understand that’s a big challenge, so our whole emphasis has been on us as a team, us preparing well and going there and playing, united as one.

“At the moment, the weather looks like it could be wet, so we just adjust. I think the most important thing needed to be a champion team is that you’ve got to be able to play in all conditions, which we’ve done already this year. We’ll see how it all unfolds, but we’ll be prepared for dry or wet.”

'Buzzing to get back into it'

Lam says his squad have benefitted from a game-free week and head into the round 18 clash fresh and excited for another mouth-watering derby.

“I think the fact that they boys knew it couldn’t be a holiday last week, they put in some extra work in their own time and some of the guys got together to ensure they were available for selection, and I’ve seen the benefit this week in the quality of training so far.

“Guys look fresh, and they are obviously excited – it’s Bristol versus Bath, everyone is keen for selection, so it’s been a very positive week so far.

“You’re able to recuperate when you have a week away, but then everyone is buzzing to get back into it and then everyone is so keen to get selected. There’s no doubt Bath are a physical team, so to be fully fit, fresh, and ready for that and the challenges that we face is key.”


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