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George Smith visits Bristol Bears Women training

Bristol Bears back rower George Smith delivered a breakdown masterclass to the Bristol Bears Women on Tuesday evening.

The flanker has made over one-hundred appearances for his country, establishing himself as the second most capped Australian forward of all time and the youngest player to ever reach a century of test caps for the Wallabies.

Tuesday evening was another brilliant demonstration of the close affinity between the men and women’s sides. This season has seen upwards of fifteen Bristol Bears in attendance of women’s sessions, all of which have passed on valuable coaching points and in-game knowledge to the Bears Women. 

Bristol Bears back rower, Smith believes having the two sides so closely aligned is important for the growth and development of the women’s game.

“I think it’s really important that we marry up the men and women’s programme. 

“Bristol Bears Women are an integral part of what we do for rugby here in Bristol and the more tutelage we can give to the girls, the better, whether that be through skillset or sharing as much general knowledge of the game as possible.

“Having the two clubs so closely aligned is a big part of what we’re trying to do here at the Bears, we want to help develop the women’s game as much as possible and having the access to be able to pass the tutelage from the men to the women is such an important factor in doing that,” said Smith.

This all harks back to Pat Lam’s vision for the Bears, to have two clubs so closely affiliated that it will allow both sides to tap into the resources available which will, in turn allow both club’s to flourish in their respective competitions. 

Bristol Bears Women flanker, Poppy Leitch was delighted to be able to pick the brains of the king of the breakdown. 

“I watch the Bears week-in, week-out and I’ve seen what George Smith is all about on the field and for him to come down to a session is really beneficial for the team.

“We’ve had a few of the Bristol Bears come in and do sessions now, we’ve had line-out and scrum sessions and now to get to go through the breakdown - which is such a big part of our game at the moment - with a player such as George Smith is credit to the club,” said Smith.