TOP BAR - Fixtures

Lam keen for youngsters to grasp opportunity at Premiership Rugby 7s

Lam keen for youngsters to grasp opportunity at Premiership Rugby 7s

Pat Lam cannot wait to see how his young guns get on at the Premiership Rugby 7s and the head coach believes the competition will only enhance the strength in depth within his squad.

The Bears have returned to the top flight at the first time of asking and will get to show what they’re capable of in Premiership Rugby 7s which starts tomorrow at Franklin’s Gardens.

Transition academy coach Sean Marsden will take the Bears into the weekend where they will take on Sale Sharks and Harlequins in the pool stages and Lam cannot wait to see his young side grasp the opportunity to shine with both hands.

He said: “There’s a lot of young players in there, so it’s a good opportunity to show what they can do on that sort of scene, so I’m pleased for them, but we have 44 players here and then some involved with that, but some involved with it through our academy.

“For the guys that are playing there, it’s a great opportunity for them, on a bigger stage, to get out there and do the jersey proud but also to play.

“There’s no pressure on them. Some of them aren’t sevens players, so it’s about coming together.

“Sean Marsden has done a good job with them this week, and so it’s good to get out there and see what they can do, and on a bigger stage.”

Bristol Bears are counting down to the start of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby season where they will kick things off at home to rivals Bath Rugby on Friday August 31.

Since taking over at Ashton Gate at the start of last season, Lam has been focused on creating one clear direction of thinking.

Lam’s under no illusions that his side will be under pressure to maintain their Gallagher Premiership Rugby status but believes the focus and togetherness his players have shown will stand them in good stead.

He added: “I think the key is that we’ve chosen the players according to the game we want to play, and the culture we have, so they’re able to fit in seamlessly, which is really good.

“For me, the team culture is independent of the games. Wherever I go, whatever competition I’ve done, I just know that you’ve got to have the game, the culture and the leadership, and that’s independent of how you’re playing.

“That’s ticking along nicely at the moment, because ultimately, the stronger you are off the field, when you’re under pressure, that’s when those connections and relationships count.

“We’re going to be under pressure, of course, because we’re at another level, so when that comes on, that’s what pre-season – for me – is about, and what we do every day is making sure we’re in a position that we can handle the pressure.”

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