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'I don't want the Bears organisation to be reliant on any individual'

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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Pat Lam is looking for Bristol to get back to winning ways on Friday night in the Gallagher Premiership versus Gloucester and remind everyone they are not a one-man team following last week’s surprise setback at home to Sale with an XV minus the incredible talent that is Semi Radradra. 

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The Fijian had generated banner headlines the previous week with his jaw-dropping contribution in the 49-3 Bristol hammering of Bath, but Lam’s Bears failed to fire last week without Radradra who has been ruled out from selection until April at the earliest.   

An investigation into why Radradra was having little niggles in his knee resulted in Bristol finding out he had a torn tendon that needed to be put into a brace for six weeks in the hope that the midfielder can then resume playing with 100 per cent fitness between two to four weeks later.

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Bristol currently lead the Premiership following six wins in eight outings and while their two defeats have occurred without Radradra in their line-up, Lam has every confidence that last week’s 13-20 loss to Sale isn’t a sign of further setbacks to come with the Fijian sidelined. 

“Semi wasn’t here for the first few games,” said Lam, highlighting that it is nothing new for Bristol to be without Radradra who was away on Autumn Nations Cup duty with Fiji when the 2020/21 Premiership started in November. “I don’t want the Bears organisation to be reliant on any individual. 

“It’s around the structure and systems off the field, it’s around the structures and systems on the field. It’s about the guys who earn the right or earn the privilege to wear the jersey going out and doing the job and having clarity of that job. So the clarity of the job that Semi has in the 13 jersey is no different from the job that Piers (O’Conor) had when he played last week. It’s whoever steps in and that is what we have to be. That is what successful teams are. 

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“You are always going to have injuries or form or stuff but if you have got competition the next guy steps up. You only have to look at the team that played when we won our first bit of silverware last year, if you picked that team no one would have thought that would have been the starting team. We had guys who were out injured and other guys got in there. That is how it has got to be.”

 

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'I don't want the Bears organisation to be reliant on any individual'

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