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Bristol sign former Harlequins wing Gabriel Ibitoye

By PA
Gabriel Ibitoye (Photo by Simon Galloway/PA Images via Getty Images)

Bristol have announced the signing of former Harlequins wing Gabriel Ibitoye. The 24-year-old had spells with French clubs Agen and Montpellier after leaving Quins, before moving to Israel and playing for Tel Aviv Heat in the Rugby Europe Super Cup.

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Ibitoye, an England Under-20 international, will join Bristol ahead of next season.

Bristol rugby director Pat Lam said: “Gabriel is a hugely-talented player with the pace and versatility to threaten opposition defences.

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“Coming back to the Gallagher Premiership is an exciting challenge for him.

“We see huge potential in a young player who was in the conversation for an England call-up a couple of years ago.”

Ibitoye said: “Bristol is one of the most exciting clubs in the Premiership so it’s a fantastic opportunity for me and one I’m looking forward to taking.

“The experience in both France and Israel has been great for my development, as a player and a person, but I still have ambitions on the international stage, and I feel I can achieve those objectives at Bears.

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“I’ve heard really positive things about the culture and environment in Bristol so I’m excited to get started next season.”

In 2020, Ibitoye told RugbyPass that leaving England wasn’t a difficult decision, even if things didn’t ultimately pan out in Montpellier and Agen, where he was voted the league’s biggest flop in his first season.

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“It wasn’t a tough decision to make, to be honest,” he explains. “This current England team have a fantastic back three and I’d be lying to myself if I said I was as good as them. I think this move will accelerate my development and then hopefully in a few years’ time I’ll be at that level.

“I made the decision myself. If I’d been in contention many conversations [with Eddie Jones] would have been had but I knew I didn’t have to have those conversations because I’m not there.”

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