Lam still expects to win games despite rotation
BRISTOL Bears head into today’s opening game in the European Challenge Cup looking to rebuild confidence and momentum after a heavy Premiership loss last Sunday.
The Bears were beaten 52-7 by Worcester Warriors at Sixways in their first big setback of the season.
Pat Lam’s side sit tenth in the Gallagher Premiership after six rounds and now turn their attention to Europe, with fixtures home and away against Italian Pro 14 side Zebre first up.
Also in Pool Four are Russian side Enisei-STM and French Top 14 outfit La Rochelle. Despite needing a good performance after the disappointing loss to Worcester, Lam said he will use the upcoming Challenge Cup and Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures to give opportunities to other players in the squad, with rotation expected.
Lam, pictured, explained: “There are five games now before we get back to the Premiership, which is our bread and butter.
“It’s an opportunity for other guys to play, to use the squad over the next five weeks to prepare as we get back to the Premiership.
“There will be a few changes – a good rotation over these next five weeks, but that doesn’t mean we don’t expect to win games.”
Bristol have a number of players who are unavailable through injury, including Jordan Crane (hamstring), Luke Morahan (groin), Piers O’Conor (foot) and star signing Charles Piutau (shoulder).
Bristol Bears: T Pincus; R Edwards, W Hurrell, S Piutau (capt), A Leiua; C Sheedy, N Stirzaker; J Woolmore, S Malton, J Armstrong, J Latta, J Batley, S Jeffries, D Thomas, N Haining. Replacements: T Lindsay, Y Thomas, J Afoa, J Heenan, G Smith, A Uren, S Bedlow, T Pisi.