The Gallagher Premiership season starts as it did last year, with Bath Rugby travelling to Ashton Gate to face Bristol Bears this evening. Here’s a closer look at Pat Lam’s side.
Director of Rugby: Pat Lam
Stadium: Ashton Gate
2018/19 Gallagher Premiership finish: 9th
Last meeting between the two sides: Bath Rugby 26-19 Bristol Bears (Twickenham Stadium)
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Charles Piutau – Piutau joined Bristol Bears from Ulster ahead of 2018/19 season. Capped 16 times by the All Blacks, the utility back is arguably the biggest coup in the club’s history, as he joined brother Siale at Ashton Gate.
A shoulder injury disrupted Piutau’s start in Bristol colours, but the 27 year-old returned to help Bristol climb to ninth in their first season back in the Gallagher Premiership.
John Afoa – The World Cup-winning New Zealand international joined Bristol from West Country rivals Gloucester ahead of the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership campaign following four years at Kingsholm.
The vastly experienced tighthead was named in the Gallagher Premiership team of the season last year, with the 36 year-old rolling back the years with some stand-out performances for Pat Lam’s side.
Luke Morahan – Morahan joined Bristol Bears from Western Force ahead of the 2017/18 season. The three-time capped Australian international has been in prolific form since his arrival in the West Country, scoring 23 tries in his 35 appearances for the Club.
A running threat, with a strong defensive game, Morahan will look to make an impact this evening on the wing.
Pat Lam thoughts on tonight’s game: “There’s no doubt that everyone is excited to play in this game. We need to channel that enthusiasm, energy and excitement of playing in front of such a large crowd into our game. “