World News – GB – Toulon vs Bristol: bears without key men for the Challenge Cup final


European Rugby Challenge Cup


Injured full-backs Charles Piutau and Henry Purdy will miss Bristol’s European Challenge Cup final against Toulon on Friday, while full-backs Nathan Hughes and Steven Luatua will also miss the game

Full-back Piutau and winger Purdy have been sidelined for recent games due to Achilles and hamstring injuries, respectively, while No 8 Hughes has failed to make it through recovering from a rib injury sustained in the Bristol Premiership semi-final loss to Wasps last weekend

Originally named to start in the squad, fullback and skipper Luatua was cleared by rugby director Pat Lam to miss the final in order to attend the birth of his child

Forward Chris Vui has recovered from a calf injury and will start on the blind side

« There are a few issues we have to get over before Friday so I gave the guys as much time as possible, » Lam said

« Obviously Nathan Hughes and Chris Vui from the weekend, but the game came too early for Charles Piutau and Henry Purdy They won’t do it for this week

« We have naturally been light enough for a few days of training to make sure we have a full tank and are ready to go on Friday »

Bristol will need to bounce back quickly from a 47-24 beating at Ricoh Arena as they aim for their first European trophy

English clubs have won 11 of the previous 23 Challenge Cup finals, with Bristol and Toulon both unbeaten in this season’s tournament

They meet at the Maurice David Stadium with a capacity of 6,000 seats in Aix-en-Provence, 32 km from Marseille, with the Bristol team traveling on Thursday via a charter flight, then returning on Saturday morning

« With Covid we have to be at the hotel, we cannot leave the hotel and it kicks off at 9pm, » Lam added

« We have a chartered plane on Thursday, we are the only ones at the hotel and it is about five miles above the ground

« We will have a police escort and straight down there on the ground Then get up early the next day and return to Bristol at 10:30 am on Saturday »

Reflecting on the Wasps result, Lam said: « What’s nice is that it wasn’t the end (of the season) last week We didn’t give a good account of us -same

« This week, at the end of 80 minutes, there is a cup at the end

« We all understand the enormity of the challenge, and this is where we want to be on the corporate side every year

« This is the last time we plan to participate in this competition as we move to the Champions Cup next year, and hopefully the year after »

Bristol team and staff will have a three-week break before next season, which kicks off on November 22 – against Wasps in Coventry – after a 13th game in just 53 days

“It’s only a three week winter break if you want,” Lam added. “The boys know they have to take care of themselves and be ready when we get back

« We’re going to take a break with our families – it’s hard not to come home and take them somewhere warmer I’ll probably go to CenterParcs or a local place

« The support staff and the coaches, the midweek games – you review one, preview another – and it happens quickly Some of us don’t know the time of day or what day is it

« The families have been great because it’s been hard on them, but we are committed and that’s what we love to do and we all love our jobs, but it’s about finding the right balance »

Bristol: 15 Max Malins, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 1 Yann Thomas, 2 Harry Thacker, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Joe Joyce, 6 Chris Vui, 7 Daniel Thomas, 8 Ben Earl

Alternates: 16 George Kloska, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 John Afoa, 19 Ed Holmes, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Piers O’Conor, 23 Niyi Adeolokun

RC Toulon: 15 Gervais Cordin, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Isaiah Toeava, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Gabin Villière, 10 Louis Carbonel, 9 Baptiste Serin, 1 Jean Baptiste Gros, 2 Anthony Etrillard (c), 3 Beka Gigashvili, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 6 Charles Ollivon, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 8 Sergio Parisse

Substitutes: 16 Bastien Soury, 17 Florian Fresia, 18 Emerick Setiano, 19 Brian Alainu’uese, 20 Swan Rebbadj, 21 Julien Ory, 22 Tane Takulua, 23 Masivesi Dakuwaqa

© 2020 Sky France

Bristol Bears, European Rugby Challenge Cup, RC Toulonnais, Rugby union, Steven Luatua

News from the world – GB – Toulon vs Bristol: the bears without key men for the final of the Challenge Cup



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