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‘We’re looking forward to Titans clash’ – Lam

  • ‘Remembrance weekend clash a great occasion’
  • ‘Rotherham gave Ealing a fright, we have to get our mind-set right’
  • ‘Steven Luatua did himself and the club proud for Barbarians’
  • ‘Chris Vui is a great choice as Samoa captain, he leads by example’

Pat Lam says Bristol Rugby are refreshed and ready for a return to Championship action, as they prepare to take on Rotherham Titans at Ashton Gate on Saturday (12:30pm KO).

After a weekend without a fixture, Lam insists his players are all set for a jam-packed pre-Christmas schedule, starting with this weekend’s clash against Andy Key’s side.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said. “The weather forecast is good, it’s an early start because of the Test matches, it’s Remembrance weekend – so there’s a lot going on.

“We saw in the last round that Rotherham gave Ealing – and we know how good Ealing are – a real fright. It’s the same as our approach to Jersey, in that we need to get our mind-set right this week – which we have – and prepare well. That’s the best chance we’ll have of good success on the weekend."

Steven Luatua, sporting his Bristol Rugby socks, in action for the Barbarians at Twickenham (JMP UK).

“My experience of rugby in the northern hemisphere is that any team can beat any team on their day, if they’re not prepared - and that’s the message we’ve said right through the competition.

“If we’re not mentally prepared and don’t work as a team; if we’re complacent and think it’s just going to happen, then we’ll get in trouble. So, the real focus is on our mind-set.”

The head coach also reflected on a proud weekend for the club on the international stage, following Steven Luatua’s eye-catching display for the Barbarians and Chris Vui’s appointment as captain of Samoa for the Autumn internationals.

“I thought Steven (Luatua) did himself proud, he did his family proud and he did Bristol proud. He just highlighted the class that we’ve seen already this season. It shows the calibre of the player, he’s certainly given his all for Bristol and his levels haven’t dropped at all – if anything, he’s raising the standards here, on and off the field."

“We saw in the last round that Rotherham gave Ealing – and we know how good Ealing are – a real fright. It’s the same as our approach to Jersey, in that we need to get our mind-set right this week, which we have."

Pat Lam, head coach

“The boys all gave him a good send off and a big cheer when he was announced – and they gave him a great welcome back with a slap on the back and handshakes. He’s certainly enjoying the company here and the boys enjoy having him around.

“He was our captain at Jersey and there’s a lot of respect for him and what he does.”

Versatile forward, Vui skippers his country for the first time when Samoa take on Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend, with the Samoan Rugby Union reporting that the 'new leadership is being assisted by senior players', which includes club record try scorer, David Lemi.

“I think Chris Vui is a great choice as Samoa captain,” added Lam. “He’s professional in what he does – he’s still a young man but he leads by his actions as well.

“He’ll have really good support off the field from David Lemi and some of the other senior players.”

Purchase tickets for Saturday's game at Ashton Gate by clicking here.

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