Saints return still special for Bristol boss Lam

Pat Lam lifted the Heineken Cup with Saints in 2000
Pat Lam lifted the Heineken Cup with Saints in 2000

Pat Lam says it is still special to come back to Franklin's Gardens.

And the former Saints skipper is looking forward to bringing his Bristol Bears team to Northampton on Sunday.

Lam is now the boss at Bristol

Lam is now the boss at Bristol

Lam lifted the Heineken Cup for Saints in 2000 and will be back in town for an anniversary dinner next month.

But first, he will look to steer the Bears past Saints on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

"It is still special to go back there," Lam said.

"We've got a 20-year reunion there in March so I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends. Time flies!"

Saints and Bristol have played some of the most exciting rugby in the Gallagher Premiership this season.

And Lam said: "The weather keeps changing at the moment, but if we get a nice, dry day it will be two good teams who like to play rugby and it will be a good game.

"Obviously the physicality comes into it up front but it will be a good game.

"They've got a good squad, a lot of good players so it will be a tough challenge.

"They've bought in a lot of good young players and they play some good rugby."

Seven points currently separate second-placed Saints and fifth-placed Bristol.

And Lam said: "Every week, the table changes.

"We're not even halfway yet and there's a long way to go but there are five points up for grabs this weekend and it's up to us to go and get them."

Mitch Eadie will be moving from Saints back to Bristol this summer.

But first, the back row forward will line up against his future employers at Franklin's Gardens this weekend as he starts in the Saints No.6 shirt.

"Obviously he was a good player when he was here at Bristol," Lam said.

"The club means a lot to him and I heard he was keen to come back so I touched base with him and had a good chat.

"It's great to have him and his family coming back home."