Bristol on 'standby' for Premiership Final
REACTION: Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lam said his team will be ready to play in the Premiership Final if Wasps are kicked out due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Lam has taken Bristol from winning nothing to becoming European Challenge Cup Champions in short space of time. This is the first time in the club’s history they’ve won this cup. They beat Toulon 32-19 in Aix-en-Provence to become just the ninth English Premiership side to take the title.
And now they could do a double.
The Bears had gone down to Wasps in the Premiership semifinals last week, but have since been put on standby to possibly play in the Twickenham showpiece against Exeter as Wasps have had a COVID 19 outbreak at the club with four players and three backroom staff testing positive.
Wasps will have to be monitored closely this week to ensure no more test positive or they could have to forfeit their place in the Premiership Final.
“We obviously want Wasps and Exeter to meet in the final because they thoroughly deserve to be there and that’s the final that should happen,” said Lam.
“But in the world in which we live in with Covid we don’t know. We have been told we are on standby, so if we are told we are in the final we will get everyone together and say let’s go.
“It is just the world we live in at the moment. Things turn all the time, but we certainly hope Wasps and Exeter make it through.”
As we all know the Chiefs have already made it an English double by defeating Racing 92 at Ashton Gate 31-27 to win the Champions Cup
Bristol are already back home and will now all be on tenterhooks rather than celebrating their Cup win while they wait to see if Wasps recover in time to make the final or whether they need to step into the breach to fill the gap.
“I said to the players before the game, let’s go out and celebrate who we are and what that means. The way we play the game, our culture, the bit of love we have for each other,” said Lam.
“The emphasis was about having a bit of joy. We knew we were going to be under pressure against a massive Toulon side. We came through it by sticking to the Bears way.
“The players did it on behalf of the whole squad and the saddest thing was that we couldn’t have everyone with us – Steve Lansdown and our captain, Steve Luatua. Congratulations to him and his wife, Olivia, on having a little girl 45 minutes before kick-off.
“Our whole vision was to inspire our community with some rugby success. This is a moment of inspiration, but we have to go back and get better.
“We aim to get better with every game and we are growing, but there is still a long way to go. It is still good for our development to have won a really good trophy.”
Source: Sky Sports