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Bristol inch closer to signing of former age-grade star

By Alex Shaw
Harry Randall of England plays the ball during the World Rugby U20 Championship Semi Final between England and South Africa in 2016

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Bristol have already made a splash with their recruitment this season, luring the likes of Charles Piutau, John Afoa and Harry Thacker to Ashton Gate, but it looks as if they’re not quite done just yet.

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RugbyPass understands that Bristol, who secured their promotion back to the Aviva Premiership at the weekend, are also close to announcing the arrival of Gloucester scrum-half Harry Randall.

Randall was a part of the England U20 side that lifted the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2016 and has been touted as a star of the future by many, with his searing turn of pace and excellent game understanding helping to significantly negate his smaller frame.

Although born in England and having represented the nation of his birth at U18 and U20 levels, Randall is also eligible for Wales, having moved there as a young child and spent much of his rugby education at Llandovery College, but a move to Bristol would signify, at least for the short-term, he sees his future with England.

He has spent most of this season on dual-registration with Hartpury in the Championship, but unfortunately a knee injury suffered back in November has derailed what could well have been a breakout season for the former age-grade star.

A move to Bristol does seem appealing for Randall, who would find himself in a competition with Nic Stirzaker and academy products Andy Uren and Reiss Cullen for playing time, as opposed to the more established hierarchy at Kingsholm of Willi Heinz, Ben Vellacott and Callum Braley.

The biggest question over Randall has been his size, but if Pat Lam is looking for someone to spell Stirzaker and provide impact from the bench, as Bristol look to consolidate their Premiership place next season, they could do a lot worse than this electric nine.

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Watch episode one of the Rugby Explorer with Jim Hamilton.

Ex-Scotland international, Jim Hamilton, travels to Singapore to explore the city and find out more about the rugby scene in the Southeast Asian country. He meets up with the national team captain and several local players.

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