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Bears Academy back in action

Bristol Bears Academy were back in action last week as the U18s and U16s played friendly clashes.

Powered by our Academy principal partner Xledger, Bears U18s overcame Leicester Tigers on Friday evening in an impressive 24-17 victory. Gabe Lacey bagged a double, while Ed Harvey and replacement scrum half Will Knight also touched down at Lockleaze.

Senior Academy Manager Gethin Watts said: “It was fantastic to finish the summer block with a tough Game against a strong Leicester side. The guys to perform the way they did is a credit to the effort and alignment of all coaches as well as the hard work of the players. It’s a positive start as we look to grow into the under 18s league fixtures later in the year. 

“The block has been a really important one for us where we have been able to work with a large group of players and we are looking forward to seeing them in the next stage of the season for the schools, colleges and clubs.”

Meanwhile, the players in Bears Under 16 Academy had their first ever run out at this level, having missed Academy games for the entire U15 season due to Covid-19. Bath Rugby hosted a pre-season warm up game at Chippenham RFC, with both teams hosting very large squads in a 4 x 20 minute format.

Both sides demonstrated an intent to play a fast running game befitting of their age group. Despite some excellent defence Bath scored 3 tries in the opening 20 minutes. Bears recovered in the next two sessions scoring 4 unanswered tries, before conceding two more in the final 20, losing 29 – 26 in a very entertaining game.

“Although it is always good to win, the score was largely immaterial and not the objective of the exercise” said Junior Academy Manager, Gary Townsend. “It  was an opportunity for 38 boys to play in an Academy game and represent the Bears, and for the coaches to assess the learning from the focus of the training sessions. In that context it was very successful. The boys worked hard to apply the learning and established a really positive platform on which to build.

“Perhaps the most exciting aspect is that there is a good deal more to come, not just from those involved on Wednesday, but from the wider squad.”


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