Bristol Bears have made another statement signing by announcing the recruitment of Fijian superstar Semi Radradra from Bordeaux Begles for next season.
The dynamic centre-wing is reportedly joining the club on a £500,000 per year deal according to Sportsmail, and will fit comfortably under the cap as a marquee player exemption.
After adding the former world’s highest-paid player last year in Charles Piutau, big-spending Bristol also seduced England Number 8 Nathan Hughes from Wasps. Adding Radradra to the ranks continues to solidify Bristol’s standing in the Premiership after earning promotion ahead of last season.
‘The salary cap is really easy,” explained head coach Pat Lam.
“We’re way below the salary cap. We have a guy we answer to.
“The first thing I did here was sit down with salary-cap manager Andrew Rodgers and my CEO Mark Tainton and went through everything.
“I haven’t spent any more money than my predecessors.”
Even with Charles Piutau coming off contract next season, Lam was confident that the club would be able to keep the former All Black around. The club has a limit of £7m to spend on this season, with two exempt players available under ‘marquee player’ rules.
Lam claims the club is ‘way below’ the cap ceiling, which will allow Bristol to stay active in the recruitment market and potentially more high-profile signings to follow.
“I go nowhere near that line. We’re way below it, that’s the exciting thing about it.”
The news of Radradra’s signing garnered immediate praise online and generated quite some excitement among Premiership fans and prominent figures.
Semi Radradra is a brilliant signing for @BristolBears and the Premiership. But can we please quit the negativity about 'how are they going to manage it in the salary cap' the green-eyed jealousy is getting as boring as Brexit and the general election.
— Neil Fissler (@neilfissler) November 27, 2019
Radradra is in every news feed.
Congratulations tovats @SemiRadradra varau kakabasubasu neitou backline qo?
— Tex cavubati (@TCavubati) November 27, 2019
— Ryan Kisiel (@RyanKisiel) November 27, 2019
Semi Radradra has joined Bristol RI, quite possibly the most exciting player to grace these shores, in rugby union, since Lomu
— Michael Keating (@MikeNearLeigh) November 27, 2019
So @BristolBears have signed one of if not the best players in the world in Semi Radradra! Can’t wait to watch him in the @premrugby, defenders everywhere are going to be made to look silly, my advice is shout you’ve got Semi to your inside and outside defenders!
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) November 27, 2019
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