‘It’s going to be a wonderful experience going forward’: Bristol Bears coach Pat Lam sees Challenge Cup final as springboard to greater success
- Pat Lam says Bristol Bears can use Challenge Cup final as a springboard
- Bristol Bears have splashed out on the likes of Semi Radradra and Kyle Sinckler
- Lam’s side are favourites against Toulon and he wants to push on further
Bristol coach Pat Lam wants to use Friday night’s Challenge Cup final against Toulon as a springboard to bigger and better things.
The ambitious Bears have splashed out on the likes of wing Semi Radradra and prop Kyle Sinckler and will feature in the gold-standard Champions Cup next season.
They are favourites to win at the Stade Maurice-David and Lam believes the game will be a significant milestone. ‘We plan that this is the last time we’re in this competition as we move to the Champions Cup this year and every year after that,’ said Lam. ‘It’s going to be a wonderful experience going forward.
Bristol Bears coach Pat Lam is eager to use the Challenge Cup final as a springboard
‘The significance of the final is not lost on anyone. We want to get something for our fans and, more importantly, for our players who have done the hard yards. It’s very much for the guys who missed out on this opportunity because of Covid, too.’
Following the Premiership semi-final defeat by Wasps, No 8 Nathan Hughes and scrum-half Andy Uren joined Charles Piutau on Bristol’s injury list.
The squad flew out on a Covid-secure chartered flight on Thursday and will face a Toulon side featuring Test stars Sergio Parisse and Eben Etzebeth.
‘We all understand the size of the challenge and particularly the boys who have been here with me from the start of this three years ago,’ added Lam. ‘Getting a trophy would be a significant boost. This is where we want to be every year.’
Bristol, who are favourites against Toulon, have splashed out on the likes of Semi Radradra
Toulon can call upon stars including the experienced Sergio Parisse for the final
Lam’s side have been working on drop goals, in the event of a tight finish.
‘When I was with Connacht, we missed out on the quarter-finals and all we needed to do was take a drop goal,’ said Lam.
‘We have done it every training day and have a play in the system for it. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.’
The French government are imposing a curfew on cities including Aix-en-Provence, but Bristol will fly home the following morning.
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