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Lukewarm reaction to title-chasing Bristol winning a host of individual awards

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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A host of individual awards and nominations have flooded into Bristol this week but Pat Lam, the Gallagher Premiership title-chasing Bears boss, has downplayed their value and insisted that the league title is the prime accolade he wants to get his hands on. 

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Lam was voted the Premiership’s best director of rugby for 2020/21, Ioan Lloyd won the discovery of the year award, Siva Naulago the try of the year award, Piers O’Conor and Steven Luatua were nominated for the player of the year award while five Bears – Charles Piutau, Semi Radradra, O’Conor, John Afoa and Chris Vui – were included in the BT dream team of the year. 

It’s quite an impressive trophy haul but the focus of Lam is solely on team trophies won on the pitch, not awarded by observers watching from the stands and on TV.

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Every week when Lam virtually holds his media briefings from his office at the Bristol high-performance centre, the Challenge Cup trophy won last October when the Bears defeated Toulon in the final in France is always visible on a desk in the background over his left shoulder. 

Lam now hopes the Premiership trophy will be sitting there as well by the end of this month, not his director of rugby award or any other individual accolades as his Bristol is all about the team. 

Asked by RugbyPass for his thoughts on the value of individual awards, Lam replied: “I have said it many times, it’s great but I really don’t take too much notice of it. I’m all about the team and what the team can do. It’s great that guys get recognised, whether that is for awards or for international caps and so forth.

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“It’s fantastic because that is the individual’s dream but my most important concern is what they actually do for the team and all of those guys who have achieved those awards or honours actually do a lot for the team as well as everybody else. We have different markers from the fan watching the game and we put a lot of value on those things that are unseen, and the team do as well. While it is great (to get individual awards) it’s more the team stuff.”

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Lukewarm reaction to title-chasing Bristol winning a host of individual awards

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