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Charles Piutau could be back at the start of next month, Bristol coach Pat Lam confirms

Charles Piutau’s first appearance for Bristol Bears since making his big-money move in the summer could come at the end of the month, according to director of rugby Pat Lam.

The New Zealand full-back/wing injured his shoulder in the team’s final match of pre-season against Connacht, and has yet to make his bow in competitive matches for the Bears.

Speaking to reporters, Lam revealed the wait for Piutau’s first appearance since signing a £1.8m two-year contract last year could soon be over.

“Charles is due back. We have the two European games against Zebre, and then we have Northampton in the cup game, so probably the Gloucester game he will be ready to be involved then.

“That gives him the Wasps game in the cup and then he should be ready for the Premiership.”

The inaugural Premiership Rugby Cup replaces the Anglo-Welsh Cup following the decision by the Welsh Rugby Union to focus on plans to create a new competition to develop the regions’ younger players aged under 23.

The matches against Gloucester and Northampton, as mentioned by Lam, could help excel Piutau’s fitness for a home debut against Exeter Chiefs on November 18.

Reflecting on his team’s start to the Premiership season, Lam felt there was much room for improvement after losing four of the first six matches.

“We have to be an ultimate team, you can’t be individuals or else you come unstuck,” he said.

“After six games in the Premiership, am I happy? No. We will rebuild and be ready for the next set.

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