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Will Carpenter

writes

Posted Tuesday, January 21st 2020

Press bitesize: Gloucester (h) - Gallagher Premiership

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and second row, Dave Attwood faced the media ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Gloucester at Ashton Gate (3pm KO).


Back on track

Dave Attwood says Bristol Bears are determined to get their Gallagher Premiership campaign back on track when they take on one of his former clubs, Gloucester at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

The Bears are four games without a win in the league, but head into the game off the back of a successful Challenge Cup campaign, finishing unbeaten in Pool Four to set up a home quarter final against Dragons in April.

And Attwood says Bristol can take confidence into Saturday’s West Country derby clash.

“We lost our way a bit in the Premiership over that Christmas period, and no one is more aware of that than we are,” he said.

“We had a couple of good results to push to the top of the pool in Europe, and that’s given us some good mental space around the calibre of team that we can be.

"Last weekend was not a result we are thrilled about and we definitely feel like there is a point to prove, not just in terms of the Premiership, but also in terms of the kind of rugby we play and put out there for the fans – and also our record at Ashton Gate. So, there are plenty of things on the line for us."


Derby ding-dong

Pat Lam is expecting another thrilling derby encounter at Ashton Gate on Saturday, as his side take on Johan Ackermann's Cherry and Whites.

"Both teams played great rugby last year and Gloucester are going really well this year too. Everyone will have that dip at some point, it’s about how you bounce back from that. We’ve seen an improvement in the last two games from us – even though it was a draw last week, we did some good stuff.

"We’re looking forward to getting back to Ashton Gate. The last time we played there in the Premiership, we weren’t good, so it’s going to be a great game. Both teams like to use it, with a lot of physicality, so it will be a good challenge."


Familiar faces

Attwood spent two years at Kingsholm from 2009-2011, playing 47 games for the Cherry and Whites – and the 32-year-old is relishing coming up against his former club this weekend.

“It’s always a nice thing to play against a team that you have represented – particularly when there are one of two familiar faces who are still there. Admittedly, it was eight or ten years ago since I was in the Shed, so there’s not that many familiar faces there anymore, but there’s still a few and that’s a nice element.

“My parents took a real affinity to me being a Gloucester player. They live on the south edge of Gloucester, so they have a lot of friends who are in that camp, and while they very much welcomed me back to Bristol - they’ve followed Bristol for a long time - they are very excited and it will be a good family occasion for me particularly.”

Dave Attwood in action for Gloucester in 2010.