Bristol Bears fear a potential long-term injury to star fullback Charles Piutau.


The Bears fell to a 31-18 defeat to the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road and are now face an anxious wait over the fitness of their star performer.

Piutau limped off with a late injury after a huge collision with Leicester wing Jonny May, and could now no face a lengthy layoff and even surgery on his knee.

Leicester led 21-6 at the break before Bristol got back into the contest through tries from Piers O’Conor and Dan Thomas, only for May to score his second and wrap up the points five minutes from time.

Video Spacer

For the Bears, their hot start to the Premiership season – which saw them sit second for much of the autumn – has cooled and they are now just seven points above Leicester in the table.


According to reports, Piutau has damaged his MCL and broken his nose.

“It is not looking great,” Lam told the Bristol Post.

“That makes it doubly worse today because we were into the last minute of play.


“It is his knee and he has broken his nose. It doesn’t look good for a few weeks now.”

Jordan Lay and Alapati Leiua were sin-binned in the first half leaving head coach Pat Lam frustrated.

“We worked our way back to 7-6 and then at half-time I showed the boys the clips – we were shocked and unrecognisable in what we were doing,” he said.

“At half-time I said it was a great challenge, we’ve been here before. We got it back to 21-18 and there were a couple of moments where we just didn’t score.

“The sin bins were silly, they were unnecessary. At the end of the day we had enough chances to get ourselves back into the game that could’ve easily blown up if it wasn’t for some silly stuff from us.”

Geordan Murphy insists Leicester Tigers can build on their win against Bristol and start to climb the Premiership table.

The Tigers endured a torrid start to the season, winning just one of their first seven games, but two tries from England winger Jonny May and one each for his international team-mates Ellis Genge and George Ford proved too much for the Bears.

The Tigers stay 11th, above only Saracens who were hit with a 35-point deduction, but Murphy is optimistic they can put a string of results together.

“I thought we played really well,” he said. “Something we’ve been wanting to do is try and improve and get better, build on our performances and I feel we did that pretty well for 70 minutes today.

“In the first 10 minutes of the second half we were off but we can improve and will get better off the back of that.

“I thought all the guys stood up and played well today.

“At the start of the second half I thought Bristol did a really good job of holding onto the ball, we had opportunities to turnover the ball but allowed Bristol to hold onto it.

“From the kick-off it was just a lack of concentration, it showed that we needed to be switched on for every second. After that we could’ve folded but the boys got back on task, got down the right end, held onto the ball and won a penalty.

“That settled our nerves and allowed us to get one more try, which was very pleasing.”

Press Association/additional reporting RugbyPass

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now