Former England lock Dave Attwood has activated an extension clause in his Bristol contract, giving the veteran 34-year-old lock another year at Ashton Gate on the back of an impressive 2020/21 campaign. Attwood, who joined Bristol from Bath in 2019, said: “I’m enjoying my rugby more than any time in my career and that is a reflection of the players, coaches and everyone at the organisation from medical to media to the staff at Ashton Gate.

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“The alignment in their philosophy and the love shown in their approach has helped me develop as a player and a person. I have loved working with such an ambitious group and my family and I am delighted to be able to continue this journey with the Bears.”

The 24-cap ex-England second row had spoken at length in February to RugbyPass about how he had fallen out of love with the game near the end of his long stint at Bath and that it took a loan spell in spring 2018 at Toulon to tune back his interest.

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Northampton and Wales out-half Dan Biggar guests on RugbyPass All Access

“I realised when I went to Toulon I’d been stuck in a rut… I didn’t love what I did to get out of bed in the morning,” he said. “I was kind of in my last season at Bath, I was hoping to sign another year, maybe a two-year extension, at Bath and then call it a day, that was me.

“But getting to Toulon, moving to Bristol, I feel like there are years left in me. I have a passion for the game that I didn’t have before and part of that was recognising what I thought rugby was, was actually a slow poisoning of the vision as it were.

“Pat (Lam) is pretty pragmatic and is pretty honest with what he thinks he is getting. It [lock] can be a good position. There is some food for thought for players looking at contracts but John Afoa is about 45 now and he is tracking 60, 70, 80 minutes every week so he is doing wonders for the tight five. If John Afoa can do it at 45, then Dave Attwood can do it at 33 [Attwood turned 34 on April 5].

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Bristol boss Pat Lam was delighted with Attwood’s show of faith in the Bears set-up. “We’re really pleased that Dave is continuing his journey with us,” he said. “His consistent level of performance underlines his commitment to his personal standards and to the Bears.”

https://twitter.com/RugbyPass/status/1380450872627507202

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