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Academy sign eight to 2021/22 scholarship programme

Bristol Bears Academy is delighted to announce the addition of eight players to its scholarship programme for the 2021/22 season.

The scholarship programme, which launched in the summer of 2020, sees an additional group of players receive an opportunity to work with the club’s professional staff in order to maximise their potential to become full time professional rugby players.

Tomas Gwilliam (Colstons School), George Taylor (Bristol Grammar School), Jamie Collier (SGS College), JJ Williams (Colstons), Matty Jones (SGS College), Dylan Power (Colstons), Macenzzie Duncan (SGS College) and Tom Sims (SGS College) will all join the programme ahead of next season.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “The scholarship programme plays such an important role in our vision for bringing through homegrown players. I want to thank our partner schools and the combination clubs who have contributed to their development.

“It’s important for these young men to be highly motivated and coachable in all areas so they can inspire their community on and off the field.”

Senior Academy Manager, Gethin Watts said: “We saw the success of the scholarship programme in its inaugural year and the guys have really benefitted from being in the Bears environment and we are hoping that they can push on and push for places in the senior squad in the near future.

“This is a critical stage in their development and provides a legitimate opportunity for a group that have been in our academy for a number of years to kick on and realise their dreams of representing the Bears. They now have the platform to hone their skills and develop in what promises to be an exciting year ahead.

"As well as a daily training environment, we are proud to work with local employers – including our Academy principal partner Xledger - to ensure that the players are gaining applied experience in their chosen field of study and interest. This programme is unique that provides a truly holistic programme that helps individuals develop.”

To find out more about the scholarship programme, click here.

Tomas Gwilliam

A former back row forward now converted to hooker, Colston’s School’s Gwilliam is a powerful ball carrier and fits perfectly to the Bears style.

George Taylor

An athletic second row forward, Taylor – who hails from Bristol Grammar School and Clifton RFC - is a member of the current England U18s squad.

Jamie Collier

Captain of the Bears Academy U18s while still an U17, SGS College’s Collier is a dynamic openside flanker.

JJ Williams

A pacey scrum half, Colston’s School and Thornbury RFC’s Williams has spent time training with the Bears senior squad in 2021.

Matty Jones

A versatile back capable of playing at full back and centre, England U17s, Clifton RFC and SGS College representative Jones is an elusive runner and strong distributor.

Dylan Power

A long standing member of the Academy programme, Colston’s School, Dings Crusaders and England U18s inside centre, Power possesses good decision making and leadership skills.

Macenzzie Duncan

A dynamic ball carrying number eight, SGS College and Clevedon RFC’s Duncan is a dangerous runner and physical defender.

Tom Sims

SGS College loosehead prop Sims is a powerful ball carrier and strong scrummager. He has been with the Academy since 2016.


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