The Breakdown | Pat Lam: ‘Being a Bristol Bear is about more than rugby – it’s a vision’

The former Samoa, Newcastle and Northampton No 8 has worked wonders with the Premiership newcomers who have aimed far higher than mere survival this season

Pat Lam is on the shortlist for the Premiership season’s director of rugby award after steering Bristol not just to safety after winning promotion from the Championship but taking them into the final round this weekend with a chance of securing a place in the Champions Cup.

It is easy to look at Bristol and not go beyond the fact that their owner, Steve Lansdown, is the richest backer of a Premiership club. They have made big-name signings, such as Charles Piutau, and the England No 8 Nathan Hughes is joining next season from Wasps, but Lam, who enjoyed coaching success with Auckland and Connacht, is looking to lay down roots that will serve the club for many years to come rather than splurging out to buy success that would be hard to sustain.

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