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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, September 23rd 2020

Press bitesize: Bordeaux-Bègles (h) - Challenge Cup semi final

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and captain, Steven Luatua faced the media ahead of Friday's Challenge Cup semi final clash with Bordeaux-Bègles at Ashton Gate (7.45pm KO, BT Sport 1 HD).

Eyes on the prize

Luatua on the potential of a European final: “It’s been great to get out there and do what we love. It makes you realise how much you love playing rugby and it’s so good to be back.

“Reaching a final would mean a lot of things, but for us, winning a trophy was one of our goals this year and all of the hard work that we’ve put in, it would just be great to see us walk away with something.

“I’ve seen these guys doing the early starts and the late finishes, the coaches and the amount of work they have put in, it would be great for everyone to walk away with something.

“But also, for the fans – they’ve been with us from the get-go and they’ve been part of our journey, so it would be nice to give something back to them. It’s one game away from the final now, so we’re keen to get there.”

'Another level'

Lam on Bordeaux's threats: “It’s an important game, it’s another step up – Bordeaux is another level and a quality side, so we’ve trained and prepared accordingly.

“Bordeaux were leading the Top 14 before Covid and going really well, and post-Covid they’ve restarted well too and they had a very good win against a strong Edinburgh side and we know there is quality in their team as well.

“We’re under no illusions as to how tough this game will be. While people might make us favourites and think that we’ll make it, we’ve got to do the work and to do that we’ve got to get our training done well and prepare well."

The aerial battle

Lam on Bordeaux's kicking game: “We’ve looked at them and seen that they aren’t typically French – if anything, they are a bit more English (in style).

"They’ve got a good kicking game, without a doubt they’ve got threats – however, we’ve talked about their kicking game and making sure we are in the air, competing against the contestable kicks, but also making sure that we don’t give them too much space in that backfield.”


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