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Sam Jeffries to return to first team duties

Bristol Bears are delighted to announce that Sam Jeffries has signed a playing contract to return to the first team squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

The Academy graduate took a prolonged break from the professional game in 2019 due to a knee injury, joining the club’s backroom staff on secondment as Professional Development Manager, while continuing to rehabilitate.

28-year-old Jeffries made a return to action in a friendly clash versus Hartpury in May and has since fully integrated back into first team training.

“We are so proud of Sam and delighted with his recovery. He embodies everything about our culture in the way he has carried himself. To step away from the game after a difficult time with injury and take ownership of the Professional Development Manager role has been fantastic,” said Director of Rugby Pat Lam.

“Sam has shown a lot of love and care for our players and staff, and we have all benefitted significantly from the programme that he has created and the work that he has done for us.  Sam has genuinely contributed to our vision off field and the structures that he leaves with the Professional Development role allows the next person to come in and take it on even further.”

“It would have been easy to let Sam go, but we knew what value he would still bring to our environment off the field. Everybody at the club knows what a talented player he is – we saw that in the way he performed in the 2018 Championship promotion season – so to add somebody of that quality back into the squad gives us great options going into next season.”

Highly rated Jeffries joined the club from Bristol University, making his debut in January 2016. He was a standout performer in Pat Lam’s first season at the helm, scoring in the promotion clinching victory over Doncaster Knights.

The back rower said: “The Professional Development role has been an incredible experience and I feel that I have grown as a person and in my understanding of the club vision and objectives.

“To be back in the first team squad with an opportunity to compete for a starting berth is a dream come true. It has always been my long-term focus to return, and I worked hard to achieve it.

“I am so grateful to the medical team, players and staff for the way they have supported me throughout this period. I particularly want to thank Pat for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. The club vision and environment is truly incredible and I feel privileged to be a part of that.

“For me now, the focus is getting into a good pre-season and putting in the hard work so that I can start the new campaign fit and firing. I fully understand there are no favours – I have been given this chance and the impetus is on me to take it with both hands.”


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