Watch this exclusive featurette from Ali Stokes on the Island influence at Bristol Bears
In this exclusive video, Ali Stokes introduces you to some key figures at Bristol Bears who can explain the strong culture at the club. Meet the Pacific Islanders in Bristol.
With interviews from Siale Piutau (35 caps for Tonga), John Afoa (36 caps for New Zealand) and Chris Vui (12 caps for Samoa), these leaders talk you through the sense of community within the Gallagher Premiership club and the helping hand players offer each other when transitioning into the squad.
In the video, former All Blacks prop Afoa mentions young fly-half Callum Sheedy and the sense of collective kinship at the club he has noticed. In a recent Rugby World feature from behind the scenes at Bristol, Sheedy told us: “I know it’s going to be cliché but (improvements are due to) the culture Pat Lam has brought in. I was here three years before Pat came and we were fighting relegation or going for promotion. Little cliques appeared and it maybe wasn’t as happy a camp as it could be.
“Now you look round and John Afoa’s sitting with Andy Uren, it’s old with young. Everyone gets on with each other and that’s the biggest change.”
On culture and improvements, team boss Lam also told us in that feature: “If I have highly motivated, coachable players and quality staff, that is where the magic is happening.
“For players who make mistakes, it’s about identifying what actually went wrong, put it in your plan, work on it and try to come back. There are so many testimonies from the greats who said they had to make all of these mistakes before they could get (up) there. That is what we are doing.
“It takes time. Put it this way, I could play a really simple game and win and be safe in this competition. But that’s not what we are building here. We are trying to build a team where, in 20 years’ time, people will go: ‘The Bears are the best team in Europe, they’re up there the whole time.’”
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.