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Bristol confirm three new signings, including recruit from Leicester

By Liam Heagney
Leicester's Sam Edwards is joining Bristol next season (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Pat Lam has bolstered Bristol for the 2024/25 season with the confirmation of three new signings, a scrum-half from Gallagher Premiership rivals Leicester as well as a hooker and a second row from the Championship.

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A recent renaissance in results has fired the Bears into the end-of-season play-off positions, but they also believe they have recruited well with a view to next season. A statement read: “A trio of exciting young players will be joining Bristol Bears ahead of the 2024/25 season.

“Steele Barker, Tom Doughty and Sam Edwards will link up with the club ahead of the new campaign, as Pat Lam continues to build a highly talented squad for the 2024/25 season.

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“Dynamic second row Barker joins from Championship side Cornish Pirates, where the 23-year-old has been one of the standout players in the competition this season. The former Cornwall U20 forward has made 17 appearances for the Pirates in 2023/24.

“Hooker Tom Doughty has been a key figure for Doncaster Knights in this season’s Championship campaign having previously made 24 appearances for Premiership side Bath during a four-year spell at The Rec. The 27-year-old has scored twice for Doncaster this season in 15 appearances.

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“Scrum-half Sam Edwards makes the switch from fellow Gallagher Premiership side Leicester Tigers, where he has made four appearances in the top-flight. The talented 21-year-old, who represented England at U20 level, has spent the majority of the 2023/24 season on loan at Championship side Cambridge.”

Lam said: “Steele is a hungry second row who is eager to learn and get better. He has emerged as one of the standout forwards in the Championship with Cornish Pirates with a high ceiling of potential.

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“Tom is a well-rounded hooker with Premiership experience from his time at Bath. He is a solid set-piece operator, with good skills on both sides of the ball, who has impressed in a good Doncaster Knights side in the Championship this season.

“Sam is a scrum half with a lot of potential who has already featured in the Premiership during his young career. He has had a good season in the Championship with Cambridge and will be a positive addition to our scrum half ranks.”

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Abe 3 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

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T
Turlough 7 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

First of all: hats off to Toulouse an outstanding performance. Duponts kicking was phenomenal. Twice he challenged Keenan with amazing clearances from his 22 in extra time. Result was territory deep in Leinster half in the early part of extra time which lead to 2 penalties and the game. Remember also his two 50:22s? Now to Willis/Dupont. ANY slight isolation by a Leinster player resulted in a turnover penalty. How many turnovers in the Toulouse 22? Leinster’s defense was immense, they had opportunities in attack but they honestly looked like they had not spent enough time passing the ball in the training in the weeks preceding the final. Game management was poor. Toulouse’s scrum had crumbled. At 15-15 Leinster had a scrum advantage in a position that would be kickable for a scrum penalty. Leinster played on and missed a long range drop goal. You MUST take the scrum surely? Win penalty and its a shot at goal to win with time up. No penalty and you can attack and drop goal whatever. The distance from sideline penalties from Byrne was shocking. If you are kicking the line you must get close to that 5 metre line. How many times were Leinster forced to maul from 10-15 metres? Toulouse KNEW Leinster was going to kick and maul and clearly spent considerable training time neutralizing thuis threat. The maul was starting too far out, Toulouse were able to stop the heart of the drive. You must change tack and start kicking for goals. That said it always felt like Toulouse were the potent team on the day with Leinster under pressure and chasing. Even with their backline completely disrupted, Toulouse found a way. 9 Wins in their last 9 finals. Leinster will be there next year. But so will Toulouse/Northhampton etc. A great era of club rugby.

17 Go to comments
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