Ahead of this Saturday's West Country derby at Twickenham Stadium, we take a closer look at our opponents Bristol Bears.
La Rochelle (A) 39-15 (L)
Worcester Warriors (H) 25-27 (L)
Northampton Saints (A) 24-26 (W)
Last three meetings
31st August 2018 – Bristol Bears 17-10 Bath Rugby
Bristol Bears kicked off this season with a hard-fought 17-10 victory over Bath Rugby in front of a capacity crowd at Ashton Gate. Bath fought back from 6-0 down at half-time to lead going into the final stages of the game. However, the boot of Ian Madigan and a late try from Alapati Leiua clinched the points for the hosts.
26th February 2017 – Bristol Bears 12-11 Bath Rugby
The boot of Gavin Henson proved pivotal, as the Welshman helped Bristol to victory over his former side at Ashton Gate. The versatile back notched three successful penalties and a long-range drop-goal to secure the points despite the best efforts of the visitors, who had two first half tries chalked out.
13th January 2017 – Bristol Bears 22-57 Bath Rugby
It was a memorable day for the Bath Rugby travelling support, as the Blue, Black and White ran in eight tries to secure an emphatic 22-57 victory in the European Challenge Cup. Two tries from Kahn Fotuali’i ensured that his side progressed through to the knock-out stages of the competition.
The coach – Pat Lam
Pat Lam took the helm at Bristol at the start of the 2017/18 season and guided his new side straight back to the top flight. The 50 year-old joined from Connacht, where he masterminded the Irish side to the PRO12 title in 2016 – their first major trophy.
In a distinguished playing career, Lam won silverware with both Newcastle Falcons and Northampton Saints, as well as winning 34 caps for Samoa.
Three to watch
Six tries in 15 appearances this season, Morahan has lit up the Gallagher Premiership this season for Bristol Bears. In his first season with the club, the Australian international topped the try-scoring charts in the Championship, with 17 visits over the whitewash in a prolific campaign for the winger. Quick-footed and a eye for the line, Morahan will be one of key men at Twickenham this weekend.
Randall signed from West Country rivals Gloucester at the beginning of the season and has shown his undoubted talent in the number nine jersey. A potent force in attack, the 21 year-old has scored four tries in 13 Gallagher Premiership appearances to date. The scrum-half, who has caught the eye of England Head Coach Eddie Jones this season will look to continue his form into the last five games of the campaign.
Another of Bristol’s stand out performers this year, Thacker joined Bristol Bears from Leicester Tigers at the beginning of this season. The hooker made over 50 appearances for the Tigers during his time in the East Midland, and has really established himself this season as a first team regular with the Bears. The versatile front-rower has crossed for six tries so far this season, making him a real threat come Saturday.
A moment in time
On the 28th of April in 1984, Jack Rowell guided Bath Rugby to a 10-9 triumph over Bristol at Twickenham Stadium in the John Player Cup Final. The victory was just one piece in the puzzle of Bath Rugby’s ‘Golden Era’ where the Club won eight cups and five league titles under the leadership of Rowell.
Join over 54,000 supporters at Twickenham this Saturday as Bath Rugby take on Bristol Bears. Tickets start at just £15 for adults and £5 for children, so don’t miss out on an action packed day at the home of England Rugby. Book your seat by clicking here.