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Pat Lam wins Global Reach Director of Rugby of the Season award

Pat Lam has been named Global Reach Director of Rugby of the Season award following the Bears' record-breaking campaign in the Gallagher Premiership.

The award comes after the title-hopefuls won 17 of their 22 fixtures during the regular Gallagher Premiership season, having played some exhilarating rugby along the way.

Lam joined the Ashton Gate outfit in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since, leading them to a return to the Gallagher Premiership, through a club rebrand, and now into this season’s semi-finals after topping the table.

The former Samoa captain began his coaching career with Scotland at the 2003 World Cup, before going on to a head coach role at the Blues and Connacht Rugby. Since moving to south-west England from Ireland he has revitalised the Bears.

In the pandemic-hit 2019/20 season, he navigated the Bears to a highly impressive third-place finish, with 69 points, before they ultimately lost out to Wasps in the semi-finals.

This time around the 52-year-old has seen his side finish top of the pile in the regular season, edging out defending champions Exeter Chiefs.

The Bears responded brilliantly to a narrow opening day defeat at Wasps, winning six rounds on the spin, to set the tone for a magnificent season.

A particular highlight of the campaign for Lam’s side was the stunning comeback win at Bath Rugby in May that secured their last-four place.

Despite going 15 points down to their local rivals in the first half, the Bears roared back to a 40-20 victory.

Lam narrowly pipped Steve Borthwick, Billy Millard and Alex Sanderson to this year’s Global Reach Director of Rugby of the season award.

Millard and Sanderson also steered their sides, Harlequins and Sale Sharks respectively, to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-finals after excellent campaigns.

At Leicester Tigers former England forwards coach Borthwick took over ahead of this season and has reversed the fortunes of the English giants, leading them to sixth in the table.

The shortlist and winner were selected by a panel of media professionals: Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Craig Swayne (Fab Rugby), Hugh Godwin (The i), Martin Gillingham (Commentator), Stuart Barnes (Sunday Times), Alex Lowe (The Times), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Bobby Bridge (Reach Media), Ugo Monye (BT Sport) and Daniel Schofield (Daily Telegraph). The panel was chaired by Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director, Paul Morgan.


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