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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, March 24th 2021

'Returning internationals are raring to go' - Lam

Pat Lam says his table-topping Bears will be boosted by the return of a host of internationals ahead of Saturday’s mouth-watering clash with high-flying Harlequins at Ashton Gate (2pm KO, live on BT Sport 1 HD).

Callum Sheedy, Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl and Semi Radradra are all set for a return to Bears action against a Quins side who now sit third in the Gallagher Premiership, while Max Malins is ruled out with a thigh injury sustained on England duty.

The Director of Rugby, who is predicting a ‘cracker’ of a clash, says his international stars are ‘raring to go’ this weekend.

“The international boys all got hold of me not long after their games and they were all dead keen to get back ASAP, which was great,” he said.

'Semi is raring to go'

“They came in, we all acknowledged them and there was some good banter between Sheedy and the England boys. We had a good day yesterday – we did a lot of clarity work and a lot of work embedding them back into the Bears way.

“These boys haven’t been around for a long time – the last time Max (Malins) was involved with us was Boxing Day, Ben (Earl) has only had 90 minutes since our game against Exeter on January 9th, and Kyle (Sinckler) has had a lot of game time, but they’ve been away a long time, so the important thing yesterday was going through the plays to get them back into it.

“Semi (Radradra) has been training and is looking good for selection this week. He’s buzzing, he’s been pushing hard, he had a good session yesterday and he’s got another one tomorrow. Real credit to our medical and S&C team, who have been class. Same with Sean Marsden, Jordan Crane and Omar Mouneimne – they’ve done a lot of work with him on the rugby side, just to make sure that, although Semi wants to get back, he also has a lot of pride, so he wants to get back and perform, so he’s raring to go.”

Lam praised his side for delivering under pressure at Franklin’s Gardens in round 14, as late tries from Luke Morahan and Andy Uren saw the Bears snatch all five points – and the Samoan is expecting another stern test this weekend, with Quins heading into the game off the back of a nine-try demolition of Gloucester.

'Quins are flying'

“I’m pleased with the result there at the end and the boys came home strong. I mentioned it after the game, but going through the review this week, we highlighted why we were in that situation. We realise our discipline was poor, we didn’t control a lot in our attack, we didn’t engage a lot, but we scored two good tries. We talked about conceding that try before half time, why that happened, and a couple of things weren’t done the way they should be done. Then, what came through very clearly, was how in that last 10 minutes, it was all guys doing their jobs and we came home strong.

“It’s recognising the fact that the boys know what to do if we find ourselves in that situation, so if they do it from the beginning, we won’t find ourselves in that situation too much anyway.”

“This weekend, we’ve got to be on our game. They (Quins) scored nine tries last week and they’re flying, they’ve got a lot of confidence, their big players - Danny Care, Mike Brown – the experienced players and then obviously the spine, with Alex Dombrandt and Marcus Smith, are going really well. So, we know what we’re up against and it will be a cracker of a game and I enjoy the challenge that we face - and it is a big challenge.”


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