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Stephenson Joins Academy On One-Year Deal

Published on 31st July 2014 by Tom Tainton

Hooker joins Academy

Bristol Rugby have added hooker James Stephenson to the Academy on a one-year deal ahead of the 2014/15 Greene King IPA Championship campaign.

"James is a very strong ball carrier, destructive tackler and is developing into a good lineout thrower"

Mike Hall

The 22 year-old, who appeared for Clifton Rugby last season, previously represented Bath Academy and England Students.

Academy manager Mike Hall told bristolrugby.co.uk: “We are delighted James has decided to join us. He has only recently moved to hooker (from back row) and has made really good progress in a short amount of time.

“Watching James playing for England students versus France students, he was one of only a handful of English players that were capable of matching the physicality of the French players.

"James is a very strong ball carrier, destructive tackler and is developing into a good lineout thrower.

"There is a lot of competition in the hooker position but he has shown over the past eighteen months he has the work ethic and desire to push himself to be the best he possibly can be.”

Stephenson is a medical student at Bristol University and joins Max Crumpton, Rhys Lawrence, Chris Brooker and Ross Johnston in the squad.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity and the chance to experience a professional rugby environment,” he said.

“I’m determined to work as hard as possible to make my mark and, already, it’s been beneficial to have so much experience around me.

“It’s an exciting time at Bristol Rugby and I look forward to playing my part and contributing to the team next season.”