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Will Carpenter


Posted Friday, January 10th 2020

Preview: Brive (h) - European Challenge Cup

Bristol Bears welcome Brive to Ashton Gate in pool four of the European Challenge Cup, as Pat Lam's side set their sights on the knockout stages of the competition.

The Bears are four from four in the competition and became the first team in nearly 60 years to nil Brive at home during November, as they stormed to a 36-0 victory at Stade Amédée-Domenech. 

Brive sit ninth in the French Top 14, and second in the pool with two wins out of four. 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the European Challenge Cup clash with Brive at Ashton Gate.

Match details:

  • Date: Saturday, January 11th
  • Kick-off: 3pm
  • Competition: European Challenge Cup
  • Where: Ashton Gate
  • Referee: Ben Blain (Scotland). ARs: Graeme Ormiston (Scotland) & Bob Nevins (Scotland).
  • Media coverage: BBC Radio Bristol
  • Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets for Saturday's game in BS3.

Team news

Bristol Bears can secure a quarter final place with victory over Brive on Saturday (3pm KO).

Pat Lam makes eight changes for the European Challenge Cup clash at Ashton Gate, with Bears topping pool four with an unbeaten record in the competition so far.

Mat Protheroe, Luke Morahan and Sam Bedlow come into the backline, while Jake Woolmore and Max Lahiff are included in the front row.

Dave Attwood and Joe Joyce form the second-row partnership, while Luke Hamilton is named at no.8.

Bristol Bears team to face Brive at Ashton Gate on Saturday, January 11th (3pm KO):

15. Mat Protheroe; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Harry Randall; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Max Lahiff, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Luke Hamilton.

Replacements: 16. Will Capon, 17. Ollie Dawe, 18. Lewis Thiede, 19. John Hawkins, 20. Jake Heenan, 21. Andy Uren, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Charlie Powell.


Last time out

Brive 0-36 Bristol Bears | Saturday, November 23rd | European Challenge Cup

A ferocious first-half display fired Bristol Bears to a spectacular bonus-point Challenge Cup victory over Brive at Stade Amédée-Domenech on Friday night, as Pat Lam’s men made it two wins from two in Pool Four.

In a wonderfully hard and clinical performance in south west France, Bristol blew away their Top 14 opponents with an exhibition of attacking rugby, scoring three times in the opening 26 minutes to set up a memorable European away win and inflict a first home defeat of the season on their hosts.

Toby Fricker, Harry Randall and Piers O’Conor got the ball rolling to give Bristol a commanding lead at the half time interval, before replacements Will Capon and Ed Holmes touched down in the final five minutes to complete a rousing win and ensure Bristol top the group with maximum points from their first two outings.

Read the full report here.

Word from the camp

Sam Bedlow insists Bristol are focused on overcoming Brive and securing a home quarter final in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday (3pm KO).

The centre - who helped Bears to a 36-0 win in the first meeting between the sides - previewed the Pool Four clash.

Subscribe to Bristol Bears TV by clicking here.

Form guide

Bristol Bears will be looking to secure their second European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final place in successive years at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

The English club are 10 points clear of Brive at the top of Pool Four, having collected a competition-high 19 out of a possible 20 points from the first four rounds.

Key facts

  • Bristol will be looking to complete the double over Brive, having whitewashed them 36-0 in France in round two in the clubs’ first ever meeting.
  • Brive have lost six of their last seven away games against English Premiership opponents.
  • Luke Morahan has made a joint competition-high eight clean breaks in this season’s Challenge Cup.

Bristol Bears: LLL
Brive: DLL


Dan Thomas vs Steevy Cerqueira

Dan Thomas made his long-awaited return from a groin injury in last weekend's defeat at Welford Road - and the dynamic openside goes head to head with former French U20 flanker, Steevy Cerqueira on Saturday.

Mat Protheroe vs Rory Scholes

Livewire full back, Mat Protheroe returns to the Bears starting lineup for Saturday's Challenge Cup clash at Ashton Gate, and faces off with Irish back, Rory Scholes. 

Statto's corner

  • Steven Luatua set for 50th competitive appearance for the club on Saturday
  • Luke Morahan has made a joint competition-high eight clean breaks in this season’s Challenge Cup