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Bristol chasing Europe not just safety in Twickenham ‘Clash’ with Bath

Pat Lam is adamant his players’ positive intent will not waver even if they are dragged back down into a relegation dogfight but he is looking up

When Bath opted to shift their home fixture against Bristol to Twickenham and market it as “the Clash” they did not imagine the uneasy scenario now confronting them. Should Bristol win on Saturday it will mark the first time since 2005 they have beaten Bath three times in a row and will bolster the Bears’ chances of qualifying for Europe above their West Country rivals.

A bonus-point victory allied to defeats for the bottom three teams – Newcastle, Worcester and Leicester – would also virtually guarantee Bristol safety from relegation, no mean achievement given the challenges they have had to face as a promoted side. In addition, it would justify their continuing faith in an open, adventurous brand of rugby which some critics initially branded as naive and foolhardy.

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