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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Saturday, January 20th 2018

#SignedUpSaturday - the story so far

To kick off #SignedUpSaturday, we take a look at the players who have already committed to Bristol Rugby for the 2018/19 season and beyond.


Joining:

Charles Piutau

Charles Piutau is box office - and as announced in August, the electrifying back is joining Bristol ahead of 2018/19 season.

The 16-cap All Black’s arrival is one of the biggest coups in the club’s history, with Pat Lam bringing in the 25-year-old utility back on a two-year deal from Ulster.

Piutau, who can play full back, wing or centre, was named the Pro12 Player’s Player of the Year in 2017 and will join his brother, Siale, in the West Country.


Staying:

Sam Jeffries

Recently lauded as a future international by teammate and All Black, Steven Luatua, Sam Jeffries rise to prominence has been brisk, highly impressive, and rewarded with a two-year extension to remain with the club until 2020.

The 24-year-old Bristol University graduate – who can play at lock and back row - shot to prominence during the 2016/17 Aviva Premiership campaign. 

Jeffries has since established himself as a key member of Pat Lam’s squad.


Joe Joyce

Joyce’s decision to extend his Bristol Rugby stay until at least 2020 has proved a hugely popular one.

The homegrown lock – who graduated through the Academy system – made his fiftieth first team appearance in November’s victory over Rotherham Titans.

Born and raised in Bristol, Joyce has been a regular starter during the 2017/18 season. 


Callum Sheedy

Highly-rated fly half Callum Sheedy committed his future to Bristol Rugby until 2020 at the start of November.

The 22-year-old hero of the 2014/15 Championship play-offs – who came through the club’s Academy system – has set his sights on writing a new story in the blue and white hoops, while improving his game alongside Irish international, Ian Madigan.

Previously captain of a Millfield School side, Sheedy joined the Academy ahead of the 2014/15 season.


Andy Uren

Bristol-born scrum half, Andy Uren agreed a new contract during October, having been at the club since the age of 13.

The Academy graduate signed a two-year extension and has made ten first team appearances already this season.

A product of Keynsham RFC in the Combination, Uren has graduated through the ranks and looks set to kick on further under the tutelage of Pat Lam.


Will Hurrell

Following an impressive maiden season in the Aviva Premiership, Will Hurrell is hoping for a second crack at the top flight after signing a two-year extension at Ashton Gate.

The powerhouse centre was Bristol’s standout player in an otherwise disappointing Premiership campaign last season, impressing with his ball carrying potency and abrasive defensive work.

Hurrell has made ten appearances so far this season, scoring two tries. 


Jack Tovey

Bristol Rugby’s current longest serving player, Jack Tovey said it was ‘a privilege’ to continue his journey with the club, having made more than 170 appearances in the blue and white hoops.

The versatile back, comfortable at centre, wing or full back, provides Pat Lam with a number of options in his squad.

Former Colston's School pupil Tovey joined the club in 2009, graduating through the ranks of the Bristol Academy into the first team.


Aaron Chapman

Chapman joined Bristol Rugby in the summer following an impressive trial period, and has since signed a four-year contract after being named in the England U20 EPS for the Six Nations and Junior World Championships later this year.

The powerful wing scored twice on debut against Cardiff Blues Premiership Select XV and once against Doncaster Knights at Ashton Gate in the British and Irish Cup.

His performances so far, in a Bristol shirt, point to a bright future for the former King’s College, Taunton, pupil.


James Dun

Former England U18 international, James Dun is one of the latest batch of Academy players to sign a long-term contract extension at the club.

Dun, who can play back row or second row, has signed a four-year contract, having made his first team debut against Doncaster Knights at Ashton Gate in October, marking the occasion with a late try.

The youngster has already made a big impression in BS3 and supporters can look forward to watching his progress over the next four years. 


John Hawkins

Academy lock, John Hawkins signed a one-year contract extension on Friday.

Hawkins had an impressive pre-season campaign - in which he featured against Bath, Harlequins and Scarlets - before a knee injury curtailed his progress.

The 21-year-old is a former England U18 international and signed professional terms with Bristol Rugby in July 2015.


Will Capon

Academy U18 hooker, Will Capon, has committed his long-term future to the club, signing a four-year contract.

The Bristol Grammar School pupil made his first team debut for Bristol aged just 18, when he came off the bench during October’s British & Irish Cup defeat to Doncaster.

Capon has also represented England at U16, U17 and U18 level and is highly-rated on the rugby circuit.


Charlie Powell

Academy back, Charlie Powell is another to commit his future to Bristol Rugby, having signed a three-year contract at Ashton Gate.

Bristol Grammar School pupil, Powell spent the summer in pre-season training with Bristol, appearing in pre-season friendlies against Bath and Harlequins.

The 18-year-old then went on to make his competitive debut against Doncaster Knights in the British and Irish Cup.


Sam Graham

Chippenham RFC product Sam Graham signed his first professional contract after impressing during a trial period.

The back-row forward made his Bristol debut against Leinster A at Ashton Gate in the British and Irish Cup, starring with a try and an assist.

Graham then also touched down in the return fixture at Donnybrook the following week. 

The 20-year-old spent nine months playing for Auckland-based club side, Massey RFC, before returning to the UK and joining Pat Lam's troops.