Salter sets survival target

Matt Salter accepts there can only be one serious objective for Bristol on their return to top-flight English rugby this season - survival. [more]

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Matt Salter accepts there can only be one serious objective for Bristol on their return to top-flight English rugby this season – survival.

Bristol, relegated twice during rugby union’s professional era, are concentrating purely and simply on staying afloat, starting with Sunday’s west country derby opener against Bath.

Worcester, Bristol’s immediate predecessors as National League One champions, showed them that it can be done by winning nine games during a memorable Premiership debut campaign and successfully avoiding the drop last term.

And Bristol, with a blend of overseas imports, journeymen and local talent, are determined to try and follow Worcester’s example.

"Across every sport, it is a massive step up from the first division to the premier division," said skipper Salter.

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"It would be more of an achievement for us to stay up this year than winning last season’s league title.

"The one thing we can’t do, as some clubs have done who came up and went back down, is go out and halfway through the season throw our hands up, go away from the game-plan and start chopping and changing players. You can’t do it.

"If you all sing off the same song sheet and you believe in what you are doing at the beginning of the season, then that should carry on throughout the campaign.

"You might have to tweak certain things, but it’s about sticking with your philosophy. Worcester, throughout last season, stood by each other, never gave in and eventually they turned things around."

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