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Bristol confirm 16 players that have re-signed for club

By Ian Cameron
Max Lahiff of Bristol Bears arrives at the stadium prior to prior to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Exeter Chiefs and Bristol Bears at Sandy Park on January 01, 2022 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Bristol Bears have released the names of sixteen players who have committed their future to the Gallagher Premiership side.

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The news comes after the Bears were forced to release a number of players earlier in the year after a number of contract extensions kicked in, putting Bristol at risk of breaching the salary cap.

Bath bound England international Dave Attwood was maybe the biggest name that left the club as a direct result. Nathan Hughes, Antoine Frisch, Alapati Leiua and John Afoa are also all set to leave.

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Despite the off-field issues and a difficult season for the Bristolians, the club are still been active on the recruitment front with some big names heading west. Ellis Genge will join from Leicester, while AJ MacGinty and Magnus Bradbury join from Sale and Edinburgh respectively.

The club had also already confirmed that internationals Chris Vui and Harry Randall have re-signed.

“We’ve always talked about bringing a core group through as we progress and we are seeing that in our squad retention,” said DoR Pat Lam. “We’re pleased to see a talented and experienced group of guys commit to the Bears, the majority of whom have been with us since the beginning of our journey.

“That world class talent is blended with homegrown talent who are making the step up – we’ve seen that in the way that the young players have made their mark during the current campaign.

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“These players join the guys who remain in contract for next year and, as always, we’ll release a full retained list ahead of the final home game of the season against Exeter Chiefs on Friday night.”

RE-SIGNED PLAYERS:
Dan Thomas
Piers O’Conor
Luke Morahan
Yann Thomas
Harry Thacker
Jake Heenan
Will Capon
Sam Jeffries
Max Lahiff
John Hawkins
Jake Armstrong
Bryan Byrne
Jake Kerr
Charlie Powell
Siva Naulago
James Dun

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Jon 3 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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f
finn 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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FEATURE Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma
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