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George Smith among 11 players leaving Bristol Bears

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George Smith among 11 players leaving Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears have axed 11 players as they begin preparations for their second consecutive season in the Gallagher Premiership.

They’ve also given their backroom team a shake-up with two members departing too.

Veteran backrow George Smith is leaving at the conclusion of his one-year stint after 23 appearances with the club It’s unknown what the 38-year-old former Australian international’s next move will be.

Samoan international Jack Lam is also on his way out. The former Hurricanes player joined the club five years ago and has made 79 appearances. He was named Championship Player of the Year award in 2016 during his time at the club.

Another Samoan international to leave is Tusi Pisi. The former Toulon, Hurricanes and Crusaders club man, who will turn 37 in June, made 50 appearances over three seasons with Bristol and co-captained the side when they were promoted.

Jack Tovey’s move to Ealing Trailfinders had already been confirmed, he’s made 192 appearances, the 6th most for the club since leagues were introduced in 1987. Nick Haining switch to Edinburgh had also been announced earlier this season.

First team quintet Nick Fenton-Wells (50 apps), Joe Latta (18 apps), Sione Faletau (11 apps), Reiss Cullen (10 apps) and Jordan Lay (5 apps) also depart, while academy lock Ehize Ehizode has been released.

Head coach Pat Lam is also making changes to his backroom team, former Wales international Gareth Delve is leaving his role as team manager and the Bears are also looking for a new head of Strength and Conditioning with Paul Bunce exiting.

“It’s the nature of professional sport that, at the end of the season, we see some players move on to new opportunities,” Pat Lam said.

“As always, we are grateful to these men who have put their bodies on their line for the club and committed to the Bristol Bears vision.

“We wish them and their families well for the next chapter and, like we do each season, will recognise the guys with a post-match presentation on the pitch after the Sale Sharks game and give our supporters an opportunity to thank them for their efforts.”

DEPARTING PLAYERS:
Jack Tovey – 192 appearances, 37 tries
Jack Lam – 79 appearances, 22 tries
Nick Fenton-Wells – 50 appearances, 6 tries
Tusi Pisi – 50 appearances, 6 tries
Nick Haining – 33 appearances, 8 tries
George Smith – 23 appearances
Joe Latta – 18 appearances, 2 tries
Sione Faletau – 11 appearances
Reiss Cullen – 10 appearances, 2 tries
Ehize Ehizode – 6 appearances
Jordan Lay – 5 appearances

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George Smith among 11 players leaving Bristol Bears