Luke Morahan asserts that Bristol Bears have a squad which can ‘worry’ the opposition this season and push for those titles still up for grabs, writes Andrew Clayton.
The Australian wing was a crucial component at Ashton Gate for the first act of the year. At seven tries, he is the joint Premiership top scorer for this season and has made himself part of a formidable Bristol back three since joining in 2017.
For the final run in to this campaign, Morahan will be joined by a plethora of fresh faces including Semi Radradra, Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl and many more.
Now that the project is coming together, with a fresh test in yesterday’s curtain raiser with Saracens (see above), Morahan told The Independent that this side can be serious contenders for the Premiership and Challenge Cup.
“I think it’s exciting for us,” the 30-year-old enthused. “It’s always good to work towards a goal and I think we have two trophies available to us in the next ten weeks.
“It gives us a bit of motivation and direction whereas other teams may not have those things to reach for, which can make it more of a slog.
“We’re lucky with the talents across the group and we’ve got the depth there now that will worry a few people, just looking at our squad on paper should give them a fright. We’ve got everything now to go a long way.”
With that squad depth, meanwhile, comes competition for places. Pat Lam has made some shrewd signings across the board and will enjoy the versatility from his back three options. Radradra and Henry Purdy can play centre or out wide, as can Alapati Leiua and Piers O’Conor, while rugby league star Ratu Naulago will join young buck Toby Fricker in vying for a place on the wing.
While Morahan is keen to continue his fine form from weeks gone by, he knows that his spot is ultimately dependent on what the team needs.
He continued: “There’s already a lot of competition, versatility and quality in our back line. That’s going to be the challenge; mine is to hold that spot consistently week in and week out.
“The way the competition is over this next period, there will be injuries and rotation, with player welfare to worry about, so I have no doubt that there will be rotation.
“I’m feeling confident in myself, that I’m exactly where I was physically and mentally [from before the restart], and probably a bit better in terms of regenerating.
“My goal is to hold that 14 spot for as long as I can. It will be challenging, but that’s the great thing about squad depth – you’ve got to be on top of your game each week.”