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Bristol sign English-qualified Pro D2 midfielder who spent the last few years developing under Richard Hill

By Sam Smith
(Photo by PA)

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Gallagher Premiership title-chasing Bristol have dipped into the French Pro D2 scene to recruit English-qualified midfielder Antoine Frisch for next season after he learned his trade under the guidance of Richard Hill, the 1991 England World Cup final scrum-half.


Hill is stepping away from his role as Rouen boss following an eight-season stint where he brought the club from Federal 2 level into the Pro D2 in recent years. A desire to live back in England and be near his family was the reason Hill put forward for exiting. 

However, he won’t be the only mainstay of the Rouen set-up heading to England as Bristol have snapped up the 24-year-old Frisch who spent a year at Loughborough University in 2015 before making his way up the French club’s pecking order. 

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“We’re excited to bring Antoine to Bristol to give him an opportunity to achieve his dreams,” explained Bristol boss Lam. “While we were impressed by his performances for Rouen, it was clear after Conor (McPhillips) and I met and interviewed him that he was worth a chance as his ambition and attitude are aligned with the goals of our Bears rugby programme.

“Although Antoine was born in France, his mother is from Devon where he spent a lot of time with family on holidays. He has a real desire to play and perform in the Premiership and at the Bears, he has seen that despite the strong competition in positions, if you put the hard work in and perform on and off the field, you will get the opportunity to impress.

“Antoine played 24 times in the Pro D2 last season and was a standout performer for Rouen. It is a tough, uncompromising competition so we believe he has the tenacity and durability to cope with the demands of the Premiership.”


Frisch added: “To come to a club like Bristol with a world-class reputation is a huge challenge for me and I’m grateful for the opportunity. After meeting with Pat and Conor and hearing about the Bears vision and programme, I knew this is where I needed to be to grow as a player and a person. I’m excited to develop and learn alongside some of the best players in the world – I can’t wait to get started.” 


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