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Five Bears named in BT Sport Dream Team

Five Bristol Bears have been named in the BT Sport Dream Team following a stellar season in the Gallagher Premiership.

John Afoa, Chris Vui, Piers O'Conor, Semi Radradra and Charles Piutau have all been selected, with seven different clubs are represented in the all-star squad and each player earning their spot through consistent, strong performance across what has been a scintillating season.

Table-topping Bristol Bears have the most representatives in the side with five.

This is perhaps not hugely surprising considering the superb campaign the Bears have enjoyed so far, with the title hopefuls only losing four matches throughout the regular season.

Charles Piutau, 29, is selected in the team at full-back, with his club colleagues Semi Radradha and Piers O’Conor taking their place in the midfield.

Prop John Afoa and second row Chris Vui also get the nod, and make up the Bears' impressive influence on the star-studded XV.

Just on the coattails of the Bears in the table, defending champions Exeter Chiefs are also well represented, claiming three positions.

Tom O’Flaherty is given the right-wing berth, while Sam Simmonds, who has the most tries in the competition this season (20), is in at No.8.

In the back row, star flanker Dave Ewers has also been selected, completing the Chiefs’ involvement.

Likewise, Harlequins also have three players in this year’s BT Sport Dream Team.

This comes after the Londoners secured a spot in the semi-finals, finishing the season in fine form with five wins from their final seven games.

Scrum-half Danny Care is included in the ensemble after a stellar campaign, along with 22-year-old fly-half Marcus Smith, the highest points scorer in the league (270).

Will Evans, who has so-far won more turnovers than anyone else in the Gallagher Premiership this term (29), is also in from the Quins squad. He takes the openside flanker role.

Four other clubs are represented by a single member of the Dream Team. Leicester Tigers’ powerful ball-carrier Ellis Genge, capped by England 28 times, takes the loosehead prop role.

Josh Bassett is selected on the left wing, in a year in which he celebrated 100 Gallagher Premiership Rugby appearances and extended his contract at Wasps.

South African-born lock David Ribbans secures Northampton Saints representation in the XV, taking his place in the second row next to Vui.

Completing the line-up is Sale Sharks' Akker van der Merwe, who has been selected at hooker, after helping Alex Sanderson's men secure a semi-final spot for the first time since 2005/06, when they were crowned champions.

The star-studded squad features 12 players in total who will be taking part in the semi-finals, meaning many will be hoping their best moment of the season is still yet to come.


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