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The 'locked in stone' legacy Semi Radradra is leaving at Bristol

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Semi Radradra doesn’t have much longer left in his three-year stint with Bristol. The Bears have just six Gallagher Premiership matches remaining this term, starting with Friday’s home encounter versus Northampton, with a Challenge Cup run to also complete. Then that will be that for the Fijian magician as he will pack his bags for a new life at Lyon for the 2023/24 season via representing his country at the upcoming Rugby World Cup.


Despite some time-consuming injuries along the way, most recently another knee operation that left him waiting until December to get this season started, the 30-year-old has worn the Bristol shirt on 48 occasions, scoring a tally of 14 tries that would have been more but for his generosity when it comes to finishing off guaranteed scores.

Asked about the legacy that Radradra will leave when he exits Ashton Gate for the last time in May as a Bristol player, Bears boss Pat Lam said at his midweek media briefing: “The big thing for Semi is his legacy is already locked in stone here in what he has done in the environment, the person he is, the standards that he set, the unselfish stuff he does.

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“Some of the biggest things? You just have to look at how many tries he has gifted to other players, just handed a player the ball. That sums up who he is. He is very selfless and he spends a lot of time with players, young players. He is always thinking about how he makes people around him better, whether that is on or off the field.

“That is his legacy and that is something we have been privileged to experience. It is always going to be a privilege that Semi Radradra is always going to be a Bristol Bear. He has had a big impact here and the resilience and the toughness of the guy – the medics will tell you during the injuries that he had, a lot of players would not have made it because but because of who he is and his professionalism, that is why he has made it back.


“We are enjoying every moment that we have left and there are going to be some excellent moments to come. He was phenomenal at training on Wednesday. Phenomenal. I had lunch with AJ MacGinty and Jimmy Williams and they were just going on, ‘Did you see Semi? I don’t know how he did this!’ They were waxing lyrical about him. He is in great form and that is his legacy.”


When it came to picking his own Radradra highlight from the Fijian midfielder’s three years at the English club, Lam vouched for the immediate impact the powerhouse made in propelling Bristol to European glory in October 2020 when the delayed 2019/20 Challenge Cup tournament resumed.

“Probably the run-in to the Challenge Cup. The Bordeaux game [the semi-final], what he did there, the tries he set up. The Dragons game before that where he was on fire, and then Toulon in the final. There are so many moments. So many.

“But the biggest thing, I mention someone like Joe Jenkins, Semi took him under his wing. This is an 18-year-old when he made his debut for us [the club’s youngest starting debutant in the Premiership versus Saracens last November].

“Joe has made massive improvements and I believe he is going to be a quality player, but he is milking everything with Semi, watching, learning, observing listening, so that’s exciting.”



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