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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Friday, March 6th 2020

‘Exciting duo will add huge value’ - Lam

Pat Lam says the loan signings of Ben Earl and Max Malins are a huge boost to the depth of his squad, after the highly rated Saracens pair agreed season-long deals at Bristol Bears.

Dynamic and versatile back row forward, Earl made his England debut against Scotland in round two of the Six Nations and is currently the Gallagher Premiership’s joint leading try scorer with seven.

Malins, who can operate at full back or fly half, has represented his country at age group level and has fast emerged as one of English rugby’s most exciting young talents.

Lam knows all about the threat posed by the young duo, having seen them both star for Saracens in Bristol’s Christmas defeat at Allianz Park, with Earl scoring once and Malins named man of the match in a two-try masterclass from full back.

And the Director of Rugby is delighted to have secured their signatures for the 2020/21 season.

“I’m very pleased - they are two young, English guys who obviously are very good players,” he said.

“I believe they will enjoy their time here; they will enjoy their rugby and give them a chance to not only add value to our squad, but we believe we can help them improve and reach their dreams of playing for their countries.

“(Depth) is what we’ve been looking for and that’s all been part of our plan with our squad, to make sure it’s stronger every year. This year, we planned to go as strong as we can and fight on both fronts (Premiership and Challenge Cup) – next year, if we achieve Champions Cup, which is our plan, we’re going to need a quality squad to compete in both, so having depth in our squad is massive.

“In the back row, we’ve got some real talent, and certainly, Max brings versatility with his ability to play at full back and at 10.

“(English talent) is a very big part of our three pillars – we want to be at the top of Europe, we want to make sure that our rugby programme brings through players playing for England, and homegrown players.

“Ultimately, when I arrived here, we were only 50% English-qualified players, this year it’s 70% and next year’s squad will be 80% - that leaves 20% of quality foreign players.”


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