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Bristol sign Lovejoy Chawatama as Kyle Sinckler replacement

By Josh Raisey
London Irish's Lovejoy Chawatama during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Leicester Tigers and London Irish at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen White - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Bristol Bears have confirmed the signing of Harlequins tighthead Lovejoy Chawatama ahead of next season, as reported by RugbyPass in January.

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The 31-year-old will fill the void left by Kyle Sinckler at Ashton Gate next season, with the England international’s move to Toulon confirmed last week. He will make the same move from the Stoop to Bristol as Sinckler did in 2020.

Chawatama has made seven appearances to date for Harlequins after arriving at the beginning of the season following the demise of his previous club London Irish.

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After the signing was announced, Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam said: “Lovejoy was one of the most consistent performers in the Premiership during his time with London Irish and his style of play and skills are well aligned to the way we want to play at the Bears.

“As we continue to build our young and exciting squad, it’s key to have established and experienced Premiership players in specialist positions.

“Lovejoy has shown his quality and durability at the tighthead position and he will be a valuable asset for the continued development of our exciting young Bristolian tighthead props George Kloska and Jimmy Halliwell.

Chawatama added: “I’m thrilled to be joining Bristol Bears for the 2024/25 season – it’s a fantastic club with rich history, passionate fans, and ambition.

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“It feels like a full-circle moment for me, having spent four years at UWE Bristol as a student and amateur rugby player.

“It’s a place I have fond memories of. I’m excited to bring my family here and make more memories on and off the pitch.”

Harlequins director of rugby Billy Millard said: “Lovejoy has been a good addition to our squad. He is a big character and has worked hard for his opportunities this season. We wish Lovejoy and his family the best with their move to Bristol and look forward to his contribution for the remainder of the season.”

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