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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, March 18th 2021

Lam relishing 'quality' clash with Saints

Pat Lam is relishing a clash of ‘real quality’ when his Bears side make the trip to Franklin’s Gardens to face Northampton Saints on Sunday (3pm KO).

Lam’s table-toppers face a Saints side fresh off the back of beating Sale Sharks in round 13 – and the Director of Rugby is expecting a tough afternoon.

'Franklin’s Gardens a tough place to go'

“Fair play to Chris Boyd. I know him well, he’s a quality coach and they went through a bit of a slump, and he’s turned them around and he’s dealing with a lot of young players coming through and a lot of quality English players as well, and that was a great win they had against Sale – they should have had Bath the week before as well,” he said.

“They’ve had some really tough games, but Franklin’s Gardens is always a tough place to go. I believe it has the potential to be a really quality game, because it’s two teams on form, two teams that like to use the ball and the pitch is fantastic, so it’s set up for a nice game and we’ll see what happens on the day.”

Chris Vui’s late try sealed a bonus-point victory over Wasps at Ashton Gate last weekend – the Bears’ first win against Wasps in nearly 15 years – and Lam praised his players for stepping up to the plate.

'We want selection headaches'

“We were really pleased with the game last weekend against Wasps. Obviously, we knew the history there and to be able to achieve that win, in tough conditions, playing as a team and implementing a lot of the things we wanted to was pleasing.

“With the number of players unavailable, it’s great that guys have stepped up and added more competition to our squad going forwards to a crucial part of the season.

“We want the headache to be there around selection, but that’s only going to come if guys compete, even the guys who come back, they need to be at their best.

“What I’ve always said is that the strength of our team will come down to competition and guys pushing each other for selection to wear the jersey.”


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