Bristol Bears have been unafraid of splashing the cash in recent seasons, with the club’s owners keen to give head coach Pat Lam the support he needs to shape the squad into Gallagher Premiership and European contenders.
Steven Luatua and Ian Madigan arrived last season, helping Bristol gain promotion from the Greene King IPA Championship, whilst Charles Piutau was made one of the richest rugby players on the planet when he arrived to bolster the club’s squad for their current Premiership campaign.
Bristol have not rested on their laurels in the Premiership, either, recently confirming the addition of Wasps and England number eight Nathan Hughes for the 2019/20 season, when the back rower will reunite with Luatua and Piutau, with the trio having played together previously for Auckland.
The next name on Bristol’s shopping list seems to be lock Dave Attwood, with RugbyPass sources insisting Bath’s west country rivals have moved into prime position to secure the signature of the second row.
Attwood, 31, was born and went to university in Bristol, as well as turning out for the club for four years at the beginning of his professional career. He has since had stints at both Gloucester and Toulon, but it’s been a seven-year stay at Bath that has seen him win the majority of his 24 England caps.
Last capped in 2016 against South Africa, Attwood not only ticks the Bristolian and English boxes, with Lam keen to construct a core of those players at the club, but he is also unlikely to be heavily involved in test rugby, which would give Bristol a valuable operator during international windows.
The veteran second row has also been linked with Sale Sharks, as well as moves to numerous clubs in France, but it seems as if a move back to his hometown could be on the cards. Club teammate Jonathan Joseph was another player linked with Bath’s big-spending local rivals, but the centre put an end to the rumour mill earlier this month by committing to a new contract with the club.
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