Semi Radradra is to sensationally join Bristol Bears, defying widespread reports he was set to return to the NRL.
The 27-year-old Bordeaux flyer has been the subject of much speculation regarding where he will be playing next year following his sensational World Cup campaign in Japan.
Many reports suggested that a return to the NRL, where he first made a name for himself with the Parramatta Eels between 2013 and 2017, was imminent due to homesickness and a disliking to the cold French weather.
Bristol have now confounded those rumours with the shock signing.
1? world class baller
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) November 27, 2019
“There is no doubt that Semi is one of the best players in the world – he’s truly a world class performer and we are so excited about what he can do for the team,” said DoR Pat Lam on the club website this morning.
“Every top club across both codes on the planet wanted him, so for Bristol to be able to bring in a player of his quality underlines the fantastic work that the club is doing. Semi has clarity about our vision and knows what the club want to achieve. As a person and a player, he is perfect for our culture which places an emphasis on community and high performance.
“I got to know Semi well at the Barbarians and we were blown away by his professionalism and dedication. He is world class because of the relentless work and preparation he puts into his game, day in day out. It’s no surprise that he has taken the World Cup and French Top 14 by storm – Semi is the ultimate professional.
“We believe the Gallagher Premiership is the best league in the world and Semi’s arrival into the league will only enhance the product further. He’s an unstoppable force and we are looking forward to seeing him light up the competition for the next three seasons.”
Radradra has enjoyed a stellar club career so far, representing Toulon and Bordeaux in the French Top 14, following his switch from the NRL in 2016.
He added: “I’m looking forward to coming to the Premiership and to be playing under Pat Lam at Bristol Bears. They are one of the most exciting teams in Europe right now and the way that they are doing things is making everybody take notice.
“I visited the world class facilities at Ashton Gate and saw the progress of the new training ground – it’s a fantastic club to be joining with a bright future ahead. I can’t wait to get started and contributing to the Bristol Bears vision.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now