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Irish urges Bristol to keep the ball rolling in British and Irish Cup

  • 'Important we keep up the winning momentum.'
  • 'Cardiff Select XV something of an unknown, we're focused on our own game.'
  • 'It's a chance for players to put their hands up for Championship selection.'
  • 'Sardis Road a fantastic place to go and play, it's a big challenge for us.'

Academy forwards coach, Mark Irish says Bristol United must continue to build momentum as they head into a two-week block of British and Irish Cup fixtures, starting with a trip to Pontypridd to take on a Cardiff Premiership Select XV on Saturday.

Irish - who takes the reins for this weekend’s cup game – insists the players involved have an opportunity to force their way into Championship reckoning with a strong showing.

“Without a doubt, we want to continue that momentum,” he said. “We’ve got two weeks now – first up Cardiff, then on to Doncaster – and we want to keep that momentum and it’s an opportunity for boys to show what they can actually do. Pat won’t turn a blind eye to players who put their hands up in these games.”

Mark Irish (right) with first team forwards coach, Mark Bakewell (JMP UK).

“The opposition is a bit of an unknown – we don’t know what sort of team we will be facing. It’s a select XV, so we don’t know how they are going to play, so this week has been all about us, concentrating on ourselves and making sure our own house is in order.

“I think it’s a cracking challenge for us, what a fantastic place to go and play. Throughout the years, Ponty has been one of the best supported Welsh clubs and we’re really looking forward to going over there. This is another opportunity for us to take a step forward.”

"We’ve got two weeks now – first up Cardiff, then on to Doncaster – and we want to keep that momentum and it’s an opportunity for boys to show what they can actually do."

Academy forwards coach, Mark Irish

Despite the change in competition, Irish says the focus and intensity in the side will remain the same – and has called on the players to ensure winning momentum is carried into nthe next round of Greene King IPA Championship fixtures.

“Our messages have been the same throughout. For us, we want to build momentum this week and take into the next round of cup fixtures – and then into the next round of Championship games.”