Bristol Bears shocked the rugby world on Wednesday by announcing the signing of one of the most in-demand players on the planet, Fiji’s Semi Radradra from next season.
After some sensational displays during the Rugby World Cup, particularly against Georgia and Wales, Radradra truly announced himself as a global superstar in union. As a result, there were reports that the Bordeaux star may be making a return to league with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL, amongst a host of other suitors. However, Pat Lam’s side have come out on top, and will have the Fijian at Ashton Gate for three years.
There are few bigger names than Radradra to arrive in the Gallagher Premiership, and, as expected, this has generated a lot of attention. While Bristol fans are clearly anticipating this arrival most, a player of the 27-year-old’s calibre is a welcome addition to the league, and that is felt by fans across England.
One thing that looks most enticing about the Fijian’s arrival is his partnership with Charles Piutau, forming one of the most devastating back threes in Europe.
The former All Black is already Bristol’s most dangerous back, with electric feet in the wider channels. During his time with Wasps, Ulster and now Bristol Piutau has proven to be one of the most lethal broken field runners in the northern hemisphere. The addition of Radradra to the mix will test even the most frugal defences.
Bristol Bears announce the signing of Semi Radrada from 2020/2021. Three year deal. Piutau and Radrada in the same backline. Opposition defenders will taping up those ankles.
— Alfred Reynolds (@AlfredReynolds5) November 27, 2019
The former Toulon man showed at the RWC that he has such a range of skills in attack, as he makes the game look so easy by gliding past defenders out wide. With world-class offloading and power, Radradra and Piutau will undoubtedly light up the Premiership, and even the Champions Cup next season.
With former Wallaby Luke Morahan expected to be on the other wing, there will not only be threats from both flanks, but the chances of him scoring more tries will only increase with such potency inside him.
A back line with Semi Radradra and Charles Piutau is pretty scary. https://t.co/qeWhY9yjyL
— Elis Williams (@eliscellan) November 27, 2019
What makes this Radradra-Piutau partnership so engrossing as well is that both players are comfortable in the centres, in fact, outside centre probably suits the Bordeaux man best given the way he effortlessly coasts past outside shoulders. With Piutau potentially inside him at twelve, Lam does not even have the worry about the two being starved of the ball. Then again, with the likes of Steven Luatua, Nathan Hughes and co. in the pack, that is unlikely.
It looks for the moment that Charles Piutau and Semi Radradra will be on the same team next year #Woshkabomy
Luke Morahan is going to score so many walk-in tries
— BallHandling Hooker (@BHHooker) November 27, 2019
The biggest fear is that Radradra arrival signals the end of Piutau’s time in the west, as his contract expires at the end of the season. That would be disheartening for many, who already have visions of those two at Ashton Gate next season.
The Bears already look to be a force this season, but they will have firepower next season that very few sides can match.
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