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Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Bristol change focus for British & Irish Cup matches

Paul Hull
Hull's side go in search of a morale-boosting win against Esher

Bristol have decided to dispense with their policy of using the British & Irish cup to blood their academy players as they search for a win.

They are in the relegation play-offs in the Championship and will use their first team squad for their cup matches to find some form and momentum.

"Our focus is very much about getting into the promotion play-offs," academy coach Liam Middleton told BBC Bristol.

"So the cup fulfils a need in terms of taking some pressure off for a result."

Middleton continued: "But we want to focus on our performances and if we can build parts of that it will give us a good strong standing for the last few league games.

In the past I've not been "front of house" but this time I will be and Liam will be doing his normal back-up and assistant job

Paul Hull

"However If I'm brutally honest it's not the kind of competition we're looking to get into the final in."

Bristol face a trip to Esher on Friday before they entertain Llanelli the following week.

Head coach Paul Hull normally takes a back seat for the British & Irish Cup but has decided to take a more hands-on role this time around as they search for their first victory in four games.

"It just sends a good message to the players more than anything," he said.

"In the past I've not been 'front of house' but this time I will be and Liam will be doing his normal back-up and assistant job."

"We're just preparing for a good trip and a good performance that hopefully will give us that win."

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