Cambridge Rugby Head Coach Richie Williams has named his line-up for round five of the Premiership Cup competition.

Heading to Ashton Gate on Friday night to face Bristol Bears, Williams shares the mood in camp this week;

“We head into the final round of the Premiership Rugby Cup after a spirited display against high flying Ealing Trailfinders last weekend. Despite losing 52-17, there were some really encouraging signs, in particular during the first 50 minutes. Once again, we showed how competitive we can be at this level as we trailed 19-10 at half time. Tries from Sam Hanks and Morgan Veness illustrated this as we scored directly from our driving maul, the first time this season.”

Of his team’s performance last week, William’s noted the pride he felt;

“I was proud of the way the players fronted up against another full-time team, with over 50 players on their playing roster. It has however highlighted the importance of fielding a strong and experienced 23, something that we have struggled to do in all four rounds to date, due to several injuries that we have incurred. If nothing else, it has developed a new level of resilience that we will be able to lean upon later this season.”

Looking back on the Cup competition so far;

“The whole Premiership Rugby Cup has served a purpose for us. Whilst the results have been disappointing, it has allowed us to adapt our game model and highlighted the clear demands that will be required to be competitive at this level. The added physicality has meant we are carrying a few injuries which means we won’t be selecting from a fully fit squad this week. The other positive has been the depth that we have had to build in some positions, in particular the back row. Both Noah Sloot and Archie Strath have been able to accelerate their development pretty quickly.”

“It has also been a great experience to test ourselves against some of the big hitting Premiership teams and play at venues like Franklin Gardens and Ashton Gate. The players and supporters will no doubt have relished these moments and will be hoping for more of the same in the not-too-distant future.”

Finally on this week’s squad, Williams was elated to welcome a number of players to his pack for the first time this season;

“In positive news, we are able to welcome back three injured players who haven’t yet featured in the Premiership Rugby Cup campaign. Kwaku Asiedu, Benji Hoppe and Anthony Maka all return from injuries and will provide a much-needed boost to our team heading into the clash. Toby Dabell, Ben Brownlie and Seb Brownhill also all return to the match day 23.”

Cambridge will step out against Premiership side Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate on Friday 6 October at 7:45pm.

A week’s break from competition follows this weekend’s match before Cambridge prepare for round one of the Championship away to Ampthill on Saturday 21 October.

Cambridge will perform their first home Championship fixture on Saturday 28 October welcoming Doncaster Knights to Ellgia Fields. Tickets for the clash are on sale now and fans are encouraged to secure your seats early via our website.

Cambridge line-up:

15- Eli Caven

14- Kwaku Asiedu

13- Matty Williams

12- Sam Hanks

11- Matt Hema

10- Steff James

9- Kieran Duffin

1- Harry Morley

2- Ben Brownlie ©

3- Billy Walker

4- Kieran Frost

5- Benji Hoppe

6- Noah Sloot

7- Matt Dawson

8- Jared Cardew

16- Willie Priestley

17- Seb Brownhill

18- Jake Elwood

19- Archie Strath

20- Tony Maka

21- Toby Dabell

22- Lawrence Rayner

23- Rian Hamilton