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Author

Will Carpenter

writes

Posted Tuesday, January 15th 2019

‘Recruitment and retention shows continued growth’ - Lam

Pat Lam says the signing of Nathan Hughes and the re-signing of three key players demonstrates a strong belief in the direction and ambition of Bristol Bears.

England international Hughes signs a three-year contract ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, while Chris Vui, Steven Luatua and Alapati Leiua have all recently committed their long-term futures to the club.

And the Bristol Bears head coach is excited by the club’s ‘continued growth’.

“You’ve got to strengthen your squad every year and I think when we set our goals pretty high, I see it as a responsibility to make sure we’ve got the right players and the right people at the club.

“I’m excited by our continued growth. There is some real quality here already and I’m seeing them grow every day and making sure we add a few players here and there to enhance the group is important for us as Bristol Bears.

“One of the real positives is that Chris Vui, Steven Luatua, Alapati Leiua – those boys re-signing is huge.

“They are enjoying the place, they’re loving it and they want to contribute more. That’s probably a more pleasing thing.”

“There is some real quality here already and I’m seeing them grow every day and making sure we add a few players here and there to enhance the group is important for us as Bristol Bears."

Pat Lam, head coach

Nathan Hughes, the 27-year-old powerhouse number eight, heads to Ashton Gate from fellow Gallagher Premiership side, Wasps.

And standing at 6’5” and weighing over 126kg, Lam believes Hughes will add a new dimension to his exciting side.

“As we grow towards being a consistent Champions Cup team and a team that wants to win trophies, Nathan Hughes’ physicality, strength and power is huge for us, and bringing those sorts of qualities to our game is massive.

“Everyone has seen the quality of the player, but I think for me, having known him from my time in New Zealand, he’s a good team man and he’ll fit nicely into the environment, which is also a really important thing for us.

“But I think some of the qualities he adds to our game with the other players around him, allows us to take our game to another level as well.

“We all know that the game evolves over the years, but one thing that doesn’t change is that you’ve got to win your ball and you’ve got to go forwards, and certainly Nathan can go forward and I think he will fit nicely into the way we like to play the game as well.

“He’ll be able to express himself through our systems and structures and will add a lot of value to us.

“So, we’re really excited to have him joining us next season.”