Hill wants new start

Bristol boss Richard Hill wants his team to start their Guinness Premiership season again on Sunday - and forget the euphoria generated by a stunning victory over Worcester. [more]

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Bristol boss Richard Hill wants his team to start their Guinness Premiership season again on Sunday – and forget the euphoria generated by a stunning victory over Worcester.

Hill admitted he was "shell-shocked" after Bristol tamed the Warriors 41-11 at Sixways last weekend, scoring five tries to claim a bonus point and emerge as early league leaders.

It proved the biggest Premiership away win by any club since Gloucester crushed Bristol 42-9 in September last year.

But Hill now insists the Worcester result must be quickly consigned to history as his team prepares for Sunday’s Memorial Stadium appointment with Saracens.

"We have had to draw a line under last week, which was difficult," said Hill, who has made one change by recalling fit-again centre Sam Cox instead of Andy Reay.

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"It took the players two or three days to come back down to earth. But we are taking the attitude that the season starts this weekend."

Bristol lost less than half their Premiership home games on returning to top-flight English rugby last term – scalps included champions Sale Sharks, Leicester and neighbours Bath – although Saracens were good value for a 23-11 victory in the west country.

And if they can harvest a similar points return from the Memorial Stadium this season, then it should again help keep them away from relegation danger.

"We are not quite sure what to expect from Saracens – they’ve changed coaches so often in the past few seasons," added Hill. "When we won away to Saracens last season, it looked as though they might go down.

"Alan Gaffney (Saracens rugby director) will have worked with more over the summer though, and they ran Wasps very close at Twickenham last weekend.

"We have got to be ready for everything and be on top of our game."

Gaffney has also made a solitary switch for his club’s second Premiership fixture this season, calling up Irish international hooker Shane Byrne instead of Fabio Ongaro, who drops out of the match-day 22.

"Bristol had an excellent result against Worcester, and with the home crowd behind them, it is going to be a very tough test for us," said Saracens captain Simon Raiwalui.

"We were disappointed with our result against Wasps. We played well in patches, but we know there are areas we must improve on.

"We didn’t show enough physicality around the tackle and breakdown areas, and the forwards need to make sure we give the backs a better platform to work from."

Raiwalui will lead a Saracens side that includes summer signings Tomas de Vedia and Paul Gustard, while two more new additions – Ross Laidlaw and Rodd Penney – are on bench duty.

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