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Lam on exciting new chapter for Bristol Bears Women

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam heralded the start of an exciting new era for Bristol Bears Women, following the appointment of Dave Ward as the club’s new Head Coach.

Ward’s appointment coincides with a fresh alignment of the men’s and women’s teams under the guidance of the newly-appointed Rugby Advisory Group – and Lam says the former hooker, who made nearly 300 professional appearances, will bring plenty of experience into the role.

“It’s an exciting new chapter for Bristol Bears Women,” said Lam. “It’s fair to say, the women’s programme hasn’t been as good as it potentially should be, so what we’ve now done is align the women’s programme with the men.

“The first thing we’ve done is change the structure – so we set up the Rugby Advisory Group, ensuring the Bears Director of Rugby and two rugby experts on the board come together and oversee that programme.

“The first part of that was to get an experienced Head Coach and we were pleased. We had over 50 applications and it was a tough process, and Dave Ward was without doubt, the best candidate.

“That’s the first part of the process, but now we’ve got to look at athletic performance, medical team, and get the whole structure and programme in place. The Rugby Advisory Group will oversee that programme, which will connect the men, women and academy and is all in line with the vision.

Ward takes the reigns as Bears Women Head Coach ahead of the 21/22 season (JMPUK).

“The key with overseeing the programme is also supporting Dave as we go through. We’re here to give him everything he needs to be successful, but ultimately, it’s about the young women and girls coming through and getting on a programme that can take them through to high performance. It needs to be a programme that will improve their performance on the field as well, all working to inspire the community.

“There are three key things: we want the Bears Women to be winning the Premier 15s, which is the ambition. We want internationals and girls playing for England, which is the programme. And thirdly, we want to see the homegrown players coming through, so you can already see the alignment with the whole club.

“Culture is a huge part of what we do, and it’s all connected to the vision – and that’s the same for all of the Bears, the whole club.”


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