Pat Lam says Bristol’s Champions Cup hopes ‘on the line’ against Connacht

More from Author Travis M. Andrews here:

Pat Lam is set for “Final Rugby” when he takes his Bristol team to Galway on Sunday.

The four-game pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup reaches its half-point this weekend, and both Bristol and their opponents Connacht are yet to win.

“For us and Conchat, and all the teams that lost in the first round, it’s all on the line this week,” said Bristol Rugby director Lam.

“It is already final rugby. You are not guaranteed if you win, but you definitely give yourself a chance.

“We’ve made it difficult to get through it, but that doesn’t mean you stop trying, because in rugby and sports you never know what’s around the corner.

“It’s about increasing your ability to handle pressure as individuals, but also as a team, being able to do things under pressure and when you need to do them.”

Bristol is boosted by a return from injury to their captain Steven Luatua, who makes his first appearance this season.

Two other changes start up-front view for pro Kyle Sinclar and lock Dave Atwood, while rugby league recruit Siva Nolago makes his full Bristol debut on the wing.

Concat lost nearly 26–22 in Paris six days earlier against last season’s Champions Cup runner-up Racing 92 and Lam said: “His performance against racing did not surprise me.

“They are very sad and they have never taken any backward step,” he said. It requires 80 minutes of collective effort for us – it is a tough challenge. “

Racing head to London on Sunday, where they meet the Harlequins side, who aim to recover early after being beaten 21–7 by Munster for the last time.

Quince boss Paul Gustard has made two changes, calling on Tom Loday to blindfold Flanker and restore Joe Markant to midfield for the first start of this season.

Harlequins v Exeter Chief & # x002013;  Galagher Premlila & # x002013;  Twinchanum Stoop
Head of Harlequin Rugby Paul Gustard (Ashley Western / PA)

“The group is loaded with confidence, and we are happy with our reflection and our team’s growth with improved appetite,” Gustard told Quince’s official website.

“We know that we have to beat the formidable Racing 92 team that has made it to the finals twice in the last three years.

He said, “He has a crown of international talent that is in form. They are one of the most dangerous teams in the competition. “

The Sunday Irish action in the European Challenge Cup will see the London Irish and Cardiff Blues maintain their unbeaten record in this season’s tournament, with Irish hosting Pau and Blues hosting entertainer Stade Frankis.

Travis M. Andrews
Travis M. Andrews is a features writer for The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 2016 as a reporter for Morning Mix. He was previously a travel and culture editor for Southern Living magazine, a contributing pop culture reporter for Mashable and the Week, and a contributing editor for the Syfy blog Dvice. He also has freelanced for magazines, including Esquire, GQ and Time. He is the author of the coming book "Because He's Jeff Goldblum," a semi-rumination and semi-ridiculous look at the career of the enigmatic actor and an exploration of the shifting nature of fame in the 21st century, to be published in November by Plume.