Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lam is excited for the 2018-19 season to underway following their promotion to the Premiership. The Bears eased to the Championship title last term with a 20 point advantage over second-placed Ealing Trailfinders.
Lam has bolstered his squad over the summer with the likes of George Smith, John Afoa and Charles Piutau all joining.
However, Piutau will need to wait for his debut after suffering a shoulder injury in their pre-season clash with Connacht.
Bristol kick off their 2018-19 campaign against Bath, who finished sixth in the Premiership last term, at Ashton Gate on Friday and Lam is raring to go.
Lam said: “We can’t wait to get going.
“It should be a great night for the supporters, and the sense of responsibility – to do our best and play as a team – goes right across the team because we want to inspire these fans and hopefully they will keep coming back.
“They (Bath) are a new squad with new coaches. They’ve brought Girvan Dempsey in (as attack coach) from Leinster, who I know from my time at Connacht, and that is a good addition.
“You are aware of what they do and the threat that they pose but the whole focus is making sure that you get your own things right, whether it’s on attack or defence.”
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