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Will Carpenter


Posted Tuesday, September 17th 2019

Press bitesize: Harlequins (a) - Premiership Cup

Head coach Pat Lam and wing Toby Fricker faced the media ahead of Friday's season-opening Premiership Cup clash with Harlequins at The Stoop - here's the key points from the session.

Opportunity knocks

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam says the Premiership Cup provides a good opportunity to assess combinations and structures after an extended pre-season campaign.

“Once the competition was reshuffled and brought to the front end (of the season), it made sense to use all of these four games as opportunities to get some meaningful rugby before the Premiership starts on October 18th. It’s a great chance – most of the squad will get a hit-out and push hard," he said.

"Our expectation is that whoever we select in the team to go out there, that’s the strongest team to go out there and win the game.

“That’s the beauty of this competition – there’s some good squads throughout the 12 clubs and it really comes back to everyone building cohesion and trying to get their game ready for the start of the Gallagher Premiership.

"So, I’d imagine everyone wants to kick this off well, and everyone will also be trying to look at as many combinations and structures as they can. It’s great to have meaningful rugby rather than just pre-season."

Pat Lam relishing season opener (JMPUK).

Slick Frick

Toby Fricker says he is eager to impress when the opportunity arises, ahead of Friday's trip to face Harlequins in the Premiership Cup (live on BT Sport, 7.45pm).

“It’s really exciting,” he said. “There has been a lot of hard work and effort put in over the past few months and I’m just excited to get stuck in on Friday night.

“I just want to try and pull that jersey on as many times as I can this season. That’s what I’m striving to do and whenever I’m called up I’m going to take that opportunity and show just why they were right to bring me here in the first place.

“Friday would be my first senior, professional game, so it’s massive for me. It’s exciting – and if I get the opportunity to play on Friday, I’ll be ready.”

Toby Fricker out to seize first team opportunity (JMPUK).

Sevens heaven

Lam hailed the performance of his young charges at the Premiership 7s last season, as a youthful side, led by Sean Marsden, reached the semi-final of the competition at Franklin's Gardens.

“The whole group did really well at the Premiership 7s. The idea was to get a lot of young boys involved, the likes of Ioan Lloyd, Jack Bates, Aaron Chapman, Will Capon, and then add a few boys from Hartpury like Toby Venner, and they all did well.

“We lost all of our games last year, and there’s been a real focus on our homegrown players, so for those boys to come and play well and do the club proud was really pleasing for all of them.”

Ioan Lloyd in action at the Premiership 7s (JMPUK).