Bristol Bears second-row forward Dave Attwood is looking forward to renewing some old acquaintances on Friday night, when the English club take on RC Toulon, one of his old teams, in the final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The 33-year-old England international made eight appearances for the French side while on loan to them during the 2017/18 season and still has friends at RCT.

“I had a great time in Toulon and still have lots of friends there,” he said. “We stay in touch via social media and we have been in contact in the last few weeks. I love the club Toulon and the city – it’s a lovely place and I enjoyed my time there.”

Attwood, who has made 53 European appearances in 14 seasons including four this term, knows Bristol will have their work cut out to win their first European trophy, with Toulon having won all eight of their games in this season’s competition.

“It’s going to be a tough game against a very good team – they have some very talented players and experienced internationals, so we know it’s going to be a challenge for us,” he said.

However, the former Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby lock believes Bristol can bounce back from their 47-24 loss to Wasps in last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership semi-finals.

“We were disappointed with how the Premiership semi-final went, but since the restart, there hasn’t been much time to dwell on results – it’s just on to the next one,” he said.

“We’re fully focused on Friday’s cup final and really excited to try and win major silverware for Bristol. It’s why we play, it’s a huge occasion. It’s our first ever European final, so we’re really looking forward to it.”