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Bristol Bears sign Sam Nixon as freakish injury crisis deepens

By Kim Ekin
Sam Nixon /Getty

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Pat Lam’s injury-hit Bristol Bears have signed Exeter Chiefs prop Sam Nixon on a loan agreement until the end of the season.

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Bristol have suffered numerous injuries at both prop, fullback and scrumhalf in particular in recent weeks, necessitating the need for a raft of short-term reinforcements since January. Lam is currently without five first-team nines with Harry Randall away on international duty and Andy Uren, Tom Whiteley, Max Green and Toby Venner are all nursing injuries.

Prop is the latest position under fire in Bristol with John Afoa, Kyle Sinckler and Max Lahiff unavailable due to injury or international duty, hence the signing of Nixon.

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Bristol Bears said in a statement: “The Exeter Chiefs tighthead is available for selection with immediate effect. Bears are without Max Lahiff to long-term injury, while John Afoa and Kyle Sinckler (international duty) are also unavailable.”

Nixon joined Chiefs in August 2021.

The 25-year-old had returned to English rugby having spent a productive season in France with Bayonne. Before that, the 6’4, 124kg Dorchester-born tight-head was at Bath, featuring for the club in the Premiership, Heineken Champions Cup, as well as the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “Sam’s arrival bolsters our options at the tighthead position. We’re grateful to Exeter Chiefs and Rob Baxter for their co-operation throughout this process.”

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Just last week Rich Lane and Oscar Lennon joined Bristol on one-month injury cover agreements. Lane, the Bedford Blues full back and captain, was named in the Championship Team of the Season in 2021 and previously represented Bath and Jersey Reds.

Scrum-half Lennon re-joins from Hartpury having represented the Bears twice from the bench in this season’s Premiership Cup.

Bristol’s Toby Fricker, Charles Piutau, Luke Morahan and Charlie Powell all currently sidelined, with new signing Lane set to provide cover in this department.

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