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'He was the one guy who truly kept Semi Radradra under wraps'

By Chris Jones
(Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Bristol Bears boss Pat Lam has hailed South African centre Benhard Janse van Rensburg as a “coach’s dream” who has become a key weapon in the West Country club’s bid for a Gallagher Premiership play-off place.


Van Rensburg was at the heart of Bristol’s record 85-14 win over Newcastle Falcons and will have been closely watched when Leicester Tigers, who host Lam’s team at Mattioli Welford Road and Saturday, went through their analysis of the opposition this week.

The centre made a significant impact at former club London Irish and despite now being a known quantity, has continued to make a big impact in Bristol colours, winning the player of the match accolade against Newcastle.

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Lam knows that with his team holding the fourth and final play-off place, they cannot afford to return from Leicester empty-handed against a Tigers side who need to win to keep their top four hopes alive after defeat at Northampton Saints.

Lam, whose team has won five league games in a row, said: “I expected him (Benhard) to have this kind of impact this season because I was impressed with him at London Irish. He was the one guy who truly kept Semi (Radradra) under wraps.

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“When I watched him closely it was his work rate and when I spoke to him I asked what he wanted and he said, “just tell me what you want and I will do it”. He is class and a real coach’s dream.

“Benhard does it the Bears way by showing your work ethic and people start talking about you. He is in the right place at the right time and even when we are in the barn training he will go down every time and present the ball exactly as I want it even in a walk-through. He is pretty special.


“We were 60 points up and Newcastle intercepted and he ran all the way back chasing.”

Lam knows the Leicester challenge will be formidable on their own pitch and added: “When you create 20 opportunities and take over half of them then that’s a good outcome.

“But this is all about Leicester now and it doesn’t come any tougher than that and I loved going there in my playing days because they are such a big club. It is a massive challenge and if we manage to get the victory then it will be big. I told the boys to embrace this because it is special and they have a lot of internationals throughout their squad.”



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