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Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 17:24 UK

Bristol coach Paul Hull set for another emotional night

Bristol coach Paul Hull
Hull is hoping to lead Bristol back to the Premiership at the first attempt

By Chris Bartlett
BBC Radio Bristol

Coach Paul Hull is ready to experience a whole range of emotions as Bristol chase their promotion dream on Wednesday night.

It has been quite a week already for the Hull family, with new baby Sophia Rose coming into the world, a second child for Paul and wife Donna.

Now Hull is eager to cap it off by overturning a 9-6 deficit in the second leg of the Championship play-off against Exeter Chiefs.

"The start of the week has been great for us as a family," said Hull. "It would be fantastic to finish it off with us going back into the Premiership.

"I think I'm going to be proud, anxious and excited all at once - there's going to be lots of emotion that's for sure."

The best part of a sell-out 11,850 crowd at the Memorial Stadium will be hoping that Bristol can provide the icing on the birthday cake for little Sophia Rose.

And Hull is confident that his pumped-up players, backed by a traditionally vociferous home support, will do the trick.

Why Bristol are on the up - Hignell

"I'll be feeling pretty proud that the players have got themselves into this position. I feel we've done pretty well in the preparation and planning and, as a coach, that's all you can do," said Hull.

"I'm confident that the players know how to win, so now it's over to them.

"I definitely have 100% faith in the guys that they will perform. All we're asking is just to carry on what they've done all year and be positive - kick when it's on to kick, run when it's on to run."

The Bristol fans, too, will be on edge as they will their team on to secure a swift return to the Premiership.

"I know the support will be there to help see us home," added Hull. "They will play a massive part in this game.

"You can't underestimate the advantage of being at home second. We feel our crowd will drive us forward, give us that extra boost and be the 16th man as they always are."

Hull points out that Bristol have lived with a favourites tag in virtually every match they have played in the Championship this season and the Exeter clash will not be any different.

"Promotion is the goal of the whole club. We didn't shy away from admitting that at the start of the year," he said.


"Every goal we've set ourselves we've achieved and now we just have this last hurdle. If we do the job on Wednesday night it will have been a perfect season."

Hull is not alone in pinning his hopes on Bristol booking a place back in the big time for next season.

Club legend Alastair Hignell says they need to be back where he believes they belong.

"It's absolutely vital to get back into the Premiership," he said.

"Bristol are one of the oldest and longest established clubs in the country. They feel they deserve to be there and they do deserve to be there.

"All they have to do is beat Exeter on Wednesday night and they're back where they belong."

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