Banner image


Will Carpenter


Posted Wednesday, February 26th 2020

Press bitesize: Bath (a) - Gallagher Premiership

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and full back, Charles Piutau faced the media ahead of Sunday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Bath at the Recreation Ground (3pm KO).

Ding dong derby

Charles Piutau says Bristol Bears are expecting a full throttle derby encounter when they visit the Recreation Ground to take on Bath on Sunday (3pm KO).

Both sides head into the mouth-watering Gallagher Premiership clash off the back of three successive wins in the competition, and Piutau says Stuart Hooper’s side will be ‘a different beast’ from the one they beat on the opening day of the season.

“Playing local derby matches is obviously big for us as a club,” he said.

“I think, as a team, it’s about nailing our jobs day to day and getting our preparation right. The coaches come with a plan, and as players we’re trying to build on that plan during the week and then execute it and have fun on gameday. Hopefully the result goes our way and fans enjoy their day too."

West Country cracker

Pat Lam believes Sunday's game is set up to be 'a cracker', as two in form sides go head to head at The Rec.

"You look at both teams - both are playing well with three wins, both desperate to win this game, third versus fifth, only one point ahead. So, there’s so much riding on the game, and that’s what’s going to bring the excitement.

"We know there is an unbelievable atmosphere, we understand the challenge of trying to win there (at The Rec) – it’s been 14 years since Bristol have done it – but it’s set up for a cracking game and we’re looking forward to it.'

Siale staying, Protheroe to depart

Pat Lam hailed the leadership qualities of Siale Piutau after the experienced centre signed a one-year contract extension, while also paying tribute to the departing Mat Protheroe, who will join Ospreys at the end of the season.

“Siale is a key part of our group. He’s one of the big drivers of our culture and is well respected and valued by all the players and staff.

“It’s not just his personal performances, it’s the leadership role he plays and the clarity he brings to everybody on and off the field.

“We have excellent young players that are growing and learning what being a professional rugby player is from players like Siale, so to keep him for another season is massive for the Bears.

“Mat (Protheroe) has been a valued member of the squad during his time here and has contributed on and off the field,” said Director of Rugby, Pat Lam.

“We wish him all the best at Ospreys and I’m sure he will have a huge impact at his new club.

“Mat has his own personal aspirations to play international rugby for Wales and we are supportive of him in pursuing this. He’s a credit to himself and his family and we’re grateful to the commitment he has given us.”