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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, September 29th 2020

Preview: Leicester Tigers (h) - Gallagher Premiership

Bristol Bears welcome Leicester Tigers to Ashton Gate in round 21 of the Gallagher Premiership on Wednesday night (5.30pm KO, BT Sport app/red button). 

Pat Lam's men head into the final two rounds of the league season sat in fifth place, level on points with fourth place Sale Sharks and with their eyes set on the play offs.

Leicester Tigers sit 11th in the table with six wins from 20 games but off the back of a spirited display against Toulon in the semi final of the Challenge Cup last weekend.

Everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate.


Match details

  • Date: Wednesday, September 30th
  • Kick-off: 5.30pm
  • Competition: Gallagher Premiership
  • Where: Ashton Gate
  • Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys. Assistant Referees: Tom Foley & Paul Dix. TMO: Claire Hodnett. Citing Officer: David Guyan
  • Media coverage: BT Sport red button/app

Team news

Sam Bedlow makes his comeback from a shoulder injury to start for the first time since the Gallagher Premiership restart on Wednesday (5.30pm KO).

The centre is one of ten changes to the side that secured a Challenge Cup final berth last weekend as Bristol return to domestic action versus Leicester Tigers.

Only Callum Sheedy and Alapati Leiua retain their places in the backline, as Niyi Adeolokun is set for his first home outing in a Bears jersey.

In the pack, Steven Luatua captains the side from the back row, while Nathan Hughes and Kyle Sinckler are also retained from Friday’s starting line-up.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam includes Semi Radradra among his replacements, while Harry Ascherl could make his first Premiership outing at Ashton Gate, having featured once in the league on the road.

Bristol Bears team to face Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate on Wednesday, September 30th (5.30pm KO):

15. Ioan Lloyd; 14. Niyi Adeolokun, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Bryan Byrne, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nathan Hughes.

System players: 16. Harry Thacker, 17. Max Lahiff, 18. Jake Woolmore, 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Jake Heenan, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Harry Ascherl, 23. Semi Radradra.

Leicester Tigers:

15. Freddie Steward, 14. Harry Potter, 13. Dan Kelly, 12. George Worth 11, Harry Simmons, 10. Zack Henry, 9. Ben White; 1. Facundo Gigena, 2. Jake Kerr, 3. Joe Heyes, 4. Cameron Henderson, 5. Blake Enever, 6. Ollie Chessum, 7. Luke Wallace, 8. Thom Smith (c)

Replacements: 16. Shalva Mamukashvili, 17. Ryan Bower, 18. Nephi Leatigaga, 19. Sam Lewis, 20. Jordan Coghlan, 21. Jack Van Poortvliet, 22. Johnny McPhillips, 23. David Williams


Matchday programme


Last time out

Leicester Tigers 31-18 Bristol Bears | Saturday, January 4th, 2020 | Welford Road

Bristol Bears were made to pay some early indiscipline as Leicester Tigers took the spoils from an end-to-end Gallagher Premiership clash at Welford Road.

Jordan Lay and Alapati Leiua were sin-binned inside the first 20 minutes to leave the visitors with just 13 men for a short time - and Pat Lam’s side paid the price, with the hosts racing into a 21-6 half time lead courtesy of tries from Ellis Genge, Jonny May and George Ford.

Two tries in two minutes clawed Bristol back into the contest just minutes into the second period, as Dan Thomas and Piers O’Conor touched down to set up a thrilling finale.

But a George Ford penalty and Jonny May’s second late on sealed the deal for Leicester, leaving Bristol to rue two costly yellow cards.

Read the report.


Word from the camp

Pat Lam says teamwork is the key as the Bears prepare to take on Leicester Tigers in round 21 of the Gallagher Premiership on Wednesday evening (5.30pm KO, live on BT Sport app/red button).

An extra-time victory over Bordeaux saw the Bears secure a first ever European final last time out, but the Director of Rugby says attention has quickly turned to the race for the top four.

“The Bordeaux game was put on the backburners pretty fast,” he said. “We had a pretty comprehensive review and I appreciate that the boys got the team to the final, I appreciate that are Bordeaux is an excellent side and it was a big effort, but I certainly wasn’t satisfied with some of our performance.

“So, we had a pretty strong and thorough review – the fact that we almost blew that game, we needed to address it, but more importantly, we take the learnings from that into this next game against Leicester and the next four or five days, to try and get into those play-offs.

Subscribe to Bristol Bears TV by clicking here. 


Form guide

Bristol Bears have won just twice in the last five rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby, at Worcester in round 18 and at home to Northampton in round 19. The Bears only defeat at Ashton Gate in Premiership Rugby in 2020 was to table topping Exeter on 25 August.

Leicester Tigers three-game losing run in Gallagher Premiership Rugby ended with their 28-24 home victory over Northampton in round 20. The Tigers have not won back-to-back encounters in the tournament since October 2018. Leicester’s most recent away win in Premiership Rugby was at Newcastle in April 2019.

The Tigers have lost just two of their last ten fixtures against Bristol in Premiership Rugby, in successive matches in December 2018 and April 2019. The Tigers have made three previous visits to Ashton Gate with their only victory being 21-16 in November 2016.

Bristol Bears: WWL
Leicester Tigers: LWL 


Head-to-head

Sam Bedlow vs George Worth

Sam Bedlow returns form injury to take his place in the midfield at Ashton Gate, going head to head with Tigers' 23-year-old back, George Worth on Wednesday night.

Ioan Lloyd vs Freddie Steward

In a battle of the young guns, Welsh flyer, Ioan Lloyd takes on England U20 full back, Freddie Steward in the number 15 short.


Statto's corner

  • Sam Bedlow makes first appearance since the Gallagher Premiership's restart after recovering from a shoulder injury
  • Niyi Adeolokun set for first appearance at Ashton Gate on Wednesday night
  • Harry Ascherl will also make home league debut against Leicester Tigers 

Match sponsor: Viper Innovations


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