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Lam eyes progress on Ashton Gate return

Pat Lam has called on his side to build on the positives from their first outing of the season, when Gloucester arrive at Ashton Gate for the second round of pool fixtures in the Premiership Cup.

A young Bristol side were beaten 24-12 by Harlequins in round one, and after naming an experienced squad for the Cherry and Whites’ visit, Lam is keen to see ‘a bigger improvement’ on Friday night.

“Last week was about the experience really,” said the Director of Rugby.

“We had a few young guys playing live on TV – they enjoyed that and took a lot of learnings.

“The big thing out of it, is that there was a lot of our game that we can improve on, which is good – we just needed to get a hit out at that stage. So, now we just keep building - we’ve got three more games before we start the Premiership.

“The guys really came out physically, which is good, and the mindset was good, it’s just that the execution was part of the issue – and again, no one wants to make mistakes but that’s what happens at this level, so we need to keep working on what we do at training.”

Lam eyeing improvements against Gloucester (JMPUK).

Lam has made 15 changes from the side that played at The Stoop, including a competitive debut for Nathan Hughes and a long-awaited return for Will Hurrell, who missed the final three months of last season with a shoulder injury.

“He (Nathan Hughes) is excited, he’s trained well, he’s in great nick and he’s put a lot of work in, but the key for him is to get his basic work done and work well in the team. It’s great to see the excitement from a player who has already achieved so much.

“All of the top players have such high standards, that’s why they’ve been able to achieve so much in the game. Himself and the other guys are all looking forward to playing.

Nathan Hughes set for competitive debut (JMPUK).

“We’re trying to get the balance right to give everyone a game. The guys coming back now, there’s a lot of experience there, but it’s about cohesion as a team and so far, they’ve worked hard, and you can see the experience coming through.

“Now, it’s for them to go and put that into play on Friday and continue our build-up to the first round against Bath.

“The expectations are always high for anyone who puts on the Bristol jersey, but the boys know they have their own standards, they’ve been there, done that, so of course we expect a bigger improvement this week.”

Pat Lam’s men host Gloucester on Friday, September 27th (7.45pm KO) before welcoming London Irish to Ashton Gate on Sunday, October 6th (3pm KO).

The Lansdown lower and South Stand only will be open for these fixtures. Please note, the games are not included on your season card.

Tickets in the South Stand are £10 for adults and just £1 for U12s. Book online now by clicking here.


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