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Lam targets Champions Cup place

BRISTOL head coach Pat Lam is targeting Champions Cup qualification on their Premiership return.

Newly promoted Bristol’s most recent top-flight adventure lasted just one year, making a swift return to the Championship in 2017 after claiming just three league wins and finishing 13 points adrift of 11th-placed Worcester.

But with an anticipated 20,000-plus crowd expected for their Premiership opener against West Country rivals Bath on August 31, there is a renewed vibrancy and expectation surrounding Bristol’s reappearance among the English rugby elite.

“You can’t get into the Champions Cup from the Championship, so the first step was to get out of it and get promoted, and we’ve done that,” Lam said.

“The second step now is you have to finish in the top six to be a Champions Cup team for the following season.

“And the dream is when you think of Bristol Rugby that they are a Champions Cup team.

“History tells you where you come from, but your vision tells you where you are heading.”

Lam has bolstered the squad with star recruits like Charles Piutau, George Smith and John Afoa, and there is no doubt that he means business after masterminding an emphatic Championship title success last term.

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