Piutau hasn’t played since December 9 due to a hamstring injury, in what has become an all-too familiar story of his time at Ashton Gate with sporadic and frustrating injuries, but has trained all week and is primed to return at full-back for Friday night’s game. With his contract up in the summer, his future in England uncertain and seven regular season games remaining, not including the play-offs, plus whatever transpires in the European Challenge Cup, the opportunities to see Piutau in action for the Bears are decreasing and Lam is delighted to welcome him back to the fold. Speaking on Wednesday, Lam said: “He was flying today, and flying on Monday.
12:53John EvelyThe bookies can't split the sidesBath to win 10/11Draw 20/1Bristol to win 10/11 (The latest odds from Skybet)12:25John EvelyBT Sport get the rivalry started early12:24KEY EVENTGetting into Ellis Genge, Pat Lam's surprise and the evolution of Bristol Bears' Little GeneralIf Pat Lam was in any doubt as to whether Harry Randall is true captaincy material, as he prepares to lead the Bears for the first time in a West Country derby, it was firmly cleared during a heated confrontation in training with Ellis Genge. Challenged by the formidable face, fury and verbals of a raging ‘Baby Rhino’ over a disagreement during a drill at the Bears High Performance Centre last month, a younger, greener Randall may well have backed down under such a threat. But to Lam’s delight the scrum-half fired right back at his fellow England international before the two talked things out and settled their differences in the moment.
Charles Piutau (72 apps), 14. Siva Naulago (20 apps), 13. Semi Radradra (47 apps), 12. James Williams (8 apps), 11. Gabriel Ibitoye (10 apps), 10. AJ MacGinty (17 apps), 9. Harry Randall (c) (94 apps); 1. Yann Thomas (103 apps), 2. Harry Thacker (93 apps), 3. Max Lahiff (60 apps), 4. Joe Joyce (161 apps), 5. Chris Vui (110 apps), 6. Sam Jeffries (56 apps), 7. Fitz Harding (44 apps), 8. Magnus Bradbury (15 apps). Replacements: 16. Bryan Byrne (41 apps), 17.
Jake Woolmore (126 apps), 18. George Kloska (21 apps), 19. Jake Heenan (87 apps), 20. Sam Lewis (8 apps), 21. Andy Uren (152 apps), 22. Sam Bedlow (58 apps), 23. Ioan Lloyd (72 apps). 10:31KEY EVENTCharles Piutau 'buzzing' to make Bristol Bears return as Pat Lam drops selection hint for BathPat Lam joked he’s had to physically hold Charles Piutau back in training this week due to the Bristol Bears star’s desire to be involved in the West Country derby against Bath at the Recreation Ground.
Matt Gallagher switches to the left wing with Joe Cokanasiga continuing to operate on the right of the back three. Max Ojomoh comes into the backline at inside centre, partnering Scotland returnee Cameron Redpath in the midfield, while the half-back duo of captain Ben Spencer and Piers Francis remains the same.
I had to try and hold him back. “He doesn’t like being injured when he is and when he does, he always comes back ahead of time. So when there’s an injury, if they tell me it’s six weeks or four weeks, I’m always thinking that’s five or three because he works hard. He’s buzzing to be available. ”Get the full storyCharles Piutau breaks past Bath's Matt Gallagher (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)09:41John EvelyBath flanker Miles Reid on the derbyReid said: “Everyone is fired up for Friday. Under the lights at The Rec is everyone’s favourite game to play and it’s a big game we’re all really looking forward to.
Bristol Bears v Bath Rugby updates and team newsIt's game day. Bath Rugby host Bristol Bears on Friday night in Round 18 of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership with both sides in need of a win as they find themselves towards the wrong end of the table. Bristol come into the game off the back of a 30-12 victory over Newcastle Falcons last weekend., while the Blue, Black and White suffered a disappointing 10-25 home defeat to London Irish. Team news is out at midday on Thursday. The game kicks off at 7. 45pm on Friday night. Follow all the build-up, team news, play-by-play match updates, reaction, stats, analysis and highlights from the Recreation Ground with regular updates below....
“You feel the buzz in the city building up to it. People walk around the city in their Bath shirts and the atmosphere builds from the start of the week. “It’s a game that has meant a lot more to me over the years. It’s massive! It’s a West Country derby with bragging rights against a good team. It means a lot to me and all the boys here. ” “Training has stepped up in intensity this week as people are returning from injury, some who haven’t stepped on a rugby pitch for a long time.
[[[WATCH TV**]]] Today: Newcastle Falcons VS Bristol Bears