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#TiedDownTuesday: the magnificent seven

We are delighted to confirm that seven key members of the Bristol squad have committed their long-term futures to the vision of the club.

All seven have signed contract extensions to be at Ashton Gate until at least 2022.

Andy Uren

Homegrown talent Andy Uren enjoyed a stunning breakthrough season in the Gallagher Premiership, making twenty appearances and scoring a memorable try in the derby victory over Gloucester.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “Andy came all the way through the Academy system and it’s fantastic to see a young Bristolian perform so well for his hometown team. He’s put a lot of work and effort into developing his rugby understanding and growing his game and was rewarded with consistent game time in the Premiership. We’re excited about the player that Andy will become over the next three seasons.”

Joe Joyce

Bristolian Joe Joyce made ten appearances for the club in the top flight last season, showing his physicality and quality in the pack’s engine room. The homegrown lock – one of the club’s longest serving players - made his competitive debut in 2013.

“Joe is a hugely popular member of the squad and a player with a great attitude and willingness to improve. He’s a local product who is performing well in the Premiership and gives his everything for the club – Joe along with Andy embodies what our vision is all about and I’m really pleased to continue working with him,” said Lam.

Andy Uren and Joe Joyce came through the Bristol Bears Academy (JMPUK).

Piers O’Conor

After twenty Premiership appearances in his first season with the club, Piers O’Conor has established himself as one of the most exciting young players in the top flight.

The centre – who joined from the Championship in 2018 – made his England debut against the Barbarians in June.

Lam said: “Piers at just 23 years old is relatively young as an outside centre and has an exciting future ahead of him in the game. The consistency of his performances and the way he slotted into the Bears game-plan in a few positions made him an integral part of the team’s success last season. Piers is another example of hard work and coachability being rewarded with consistent Premiership game time and England recognition."

Ed Holmes

With seventeen Premiership appearances under his belt last season, Ed Holmes’ abrasive brand of rugby has seen the lock establish himself as an integral member of the pack.

“Ed put in a lot of hard work­­ during preseason to add size and power to his tremendous work ethic and physicality on the field. He really stepped up last season and also showed the Premiership what a valuable player he is for the Bears.  Another young English player, Ed has all the ingredients to keep improving his game and contributing to the Bears’ vision,” added Lam.

Ed Holmes on the charge (JMPUK).
Piers O'Conor with ball in hand (JMPUK).

Harry Randall

One of the most exciting scrum halves in the Gallagher Premiership, Harry Randall made eighteen appearances in his maiden campaign with Bristol Bears. The livewire scrum half scored one of the tries of the season with a stunning individual effort versus Leicester Tigers.

Lam said: “Harry plays with a tempo and dynamism that fits our game. He is a constant attacking threat and his ability and talent has shone through in his first season in the Premiership. We are blessed to have both Harry and Andy as two young English scrumhalves who we believe will be good enough to play at a higher level as they continue to put the hard work in required.”

Harry Thacker

Voted supporters’ player of the season after a magnificent first campaign in Bristol colours, Harry Thacker was named in both the Guardian and Telegraph’s team of the season. The 25 year-old made twenty-one appearances in the Gallagher Premiership and was the club’s joint top-scorer.

“Harry is an outstanding hooker who brings another dimension to the position that not many can, which makes him an extremely valuable for our team. He has shown what an influential player he is for Bristol Bears, week in, week out. He’s another young Englishman who has taken the top flight by storm and who I believe will go to another level over the next three seasons,” said Lam.

Luke Morahan

Since joining the club in 2017, Luke Morahan has been one of the Bears’ standout performers. The Australian international earned national plaudits for his displays in the Premiership last season, making sixteen appearances and scooping the club’s try of the season award for his solo effort versus Leicester Tigers.

Lam said: “Luke is a world-class performer and brings so much quality and composure to the back three. We are striving for a squad that has a blend of world class players and young English talent, so to have somebody of Luke’s calibre and influence in our environment is massive for us and our vision.”

Harry Randall (JMPUK).
Harry Thacker (JMPUK).
Luke Morahan (JMPUK).