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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, March 27th 2018

Galvanised Pisi eyeing future challenges at Bristol

Tusi Pisi says he is settled, motivated and striving for improvement after signing a new one-year contract at Bristol Rugby.

And the Samoan international, who has captained Pat Lam’s side on seven occasions this season, has his sights set on another crack at the Aviva Premiership, as Bristol look to drive home their advantage at the top of the GKIPA Championship in the closing stages of the season.

“One of my chats with Pat was that if I didn’t think I could offer anything, I wouldn’t have taken up this opportunity - so for me it’s really getting myself ready for next season,” said Pisi.

“I had the opportunity to go back to Japan - but for me, sitting down with my wife and just chatting about a few things, to stay at Bristol is to be motivated to challenge myself and hopefully play in the Premiership – so that was the biggest reason I stayed.

“My wife is really settled - she really loves the city and people here. And my son has really settled at school and he loves it – so in that sense, it was a really easy decision.

“At the end of the day, as with the other Samoan boys - the wife is the boss. So, whatever she says, goes.”

“I had the opportunity to go back to Japan - but for me, sitting down with my wife and just chatting about a few things, to stay at Bristol is to be motivated to challenge myself and hopefully play in the Premiership – so that was the biggest reason I stayed.

Tusi Pisi

The 35-year-old has thrived in Pat Lam’s side this season, with the head coach praising his work on and off the field – and Pisi believes ‘clarity on his role’ and ‘accountability’ have been big factors in his form.

“Like anything, when I first went to Japan, the first year is always the toughest,” he said.

“It was a big wake-up call last year, coming over and trying to get used to the way the Premiership is played and how teams play – and for me now, I really know my role within the team and within the system and I’m accountable for that every game.

“I know when I look back at the game or sit in the review, I’m accountable for this and accountable for that – did I do it, or did I not?

“It’s about putting on that Bristol jersey, playing for the fans, the community and for our families.”

Pisi flies over to score against Cornish Pirates at Ashton Gate (JMP UK).

As one of the most experienced heads in the squad, Pisi has also relished the opportunity to drive standards among the more junior members – and the back says the potential of the club’s young guns is hugely exciting.

“Chris (Vui) is a phenomenal talent and I think in a couple of years’ time, he’ll be one of the best locks in the world – but also, we’ve got some really good young English players coming through and they could potentially play for England.

“So, it’s up to us senior players to really bring them through and just set really good standards. Not just on the field, but off the field too.”

With three huge games remaining in the GKIPA Championship season, Pisi will be hoping the standards set by him – and the rest of the squad – can propel them to the promised land.


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