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Will Carpenter


Posted Tuesday, October 8th 2019

Press bitesize: Exeter Chiefs (a) - Premiership Cup

Forwards coach, Jonathan Thomas and back Charlie Powell faced the media ahead of Saturday's Premiership Cup clash against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park - here's the key points from the session.

Powell primed for Chiefs

Charlie Powell says Bristol Bears will take confidence into Saturday’s Premiership Cup visit to Sandy Park to take on Exeter Chiefs, after recording back-to-back wins in the competition.

Qualification for knockout stages is at stake for both sides as the pool stages head into the final round of fixtures – and the Academy back is relishing the challenge of the Chiefs.

“Exeter are always a strong side, but we’ll prepare as best as we can for that game, we’re excited and we believe we can go there and put a performance in.

“There’s an element of pressure, but it’s how we train and what we do day in, day out.

“It’s all about taking the opportunities afforded to us. This is a great opportunity to learn and develop – that’s what we’re focused on every day.

“Pat (Lam) always says the team sheet isn’t written down straight away, there’s always a chance to play yourself into the team. So, I’ll just be out to do my best and make an impression whenever I get the chance to play.

“I’m enjoying the game time I’ve got early season – everyone has been given an opportunity to put their best foot forward in these games.

“We’ve had the chance to go out and play and express ourselves and enjoy playing rugby.”

The next level

Jonathan Thomas has challenged Bristol to take their game to 'the next level' when they take on Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday.

"We’ve spoken this year about going to the next level and we’ve challenged the group that each pre-season game, we just get better and better and just focus on, first and foremost, physicality," he said.

"We’ve shown signs with our scrum and with our maul attack and maul defence that, we’re in a pretty good place where we stand, but we’ve got an exciting game against Exeter coming up and it’s another good test for us."

Building for Bath

Thomas wants Bristol to take take another big step in their preparation for the Gallagher Premiership opener against Bath at Ashton Gate next Friday.

"You want to play in these games, a derby game against Exeter," he said.

"Make no bones about it, the important game for us is next Friday against Bath, but this is another important step on that road to playing against Bath, and it’s important we sign off pre-season in style."