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'Legend of the game' John Afoa signs new one-year deal with Bristol

By Ciarán Kennedy
Bristol Bears' John Afoa. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Bristol Bears have confirmed that John Afoa has put pen to paper on a new one-year extension with the club. The legendary All Blacks prop joined from Gloucester in 2018, and has made 52 appearances for the Bears to date.

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The 37-year-old has been named in the Premiership Team of the Season every year since signing for the club.

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam, said: “John is a legend of the game and his impact at the Bears has been immeasurable.

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“On the field, to be one of the most consistent standout players in one of the toughest physically demanding positions – for so many seasons at the highest level – is a testament to his professionalism and mental toughness.

“Off the field, John is a massive leader in our group. He initiated and drives our Bears Mentor Programme bringing on the young and new players and ensuring connections and real clarity to our game and our Bears culture.

“John has been a huge part of our growth since our promotion back to the Premiership and him committing to another year is a major boost to our players, our staff and our fans.”

Afoa said: “I’ve loved my time in Bristol so far, so from that perspective, it was an easy decision to make. The way the medical and athletic performance guys manage me has been awesome and it helps me be at my best every time I get on the grass.

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“We’ve got a good bunch of boys here and there’s a huge amount of ambition.

“What is important for me also is that it’s an enjoyable place to be, the lads get a lot out of the rugby we are trying to play and it’s a great environment to be a part of.”

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