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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Tuesday, August 20th 2019

World-class Afoa agrees new Bears contract

John Afoa has committed to Bristol Bears for a further season, extending his time at Ashton Gate until 2021.

One of the finest tighthead props in world rugby, the 35 year-old was named in the Premiership team of the season after a remarkable maiden campaign for the Bears.

A model of consistency, Afoa featured in every Premiership fixture for Lam’s men, topping the charts for most offloads and metres for a tighthead prop.

"I’m absolutely delighted that John has committed to another season with the Bears. He is a genuinely world-class performer and he’s a shining example to our younger players and a leader in the camp."

Director of Rugby Pat Lam

“I’m absolutely delighted that John has committed to another season with the Bears. He is a genuinely world-class performer, a shining example to our younger players and a leader in the camp,” said Director of Rugby Lam.

“Not only does he perform consistently well, John’s preparation and attention to detail is always spot on. He understands what is required to be at the very top of the game and his knowledge and experience of this competition is second to none.

“John is one of the best scrummagers in the Premiership and he’s a major attacking threat for us too – it’s a significant asset for us to have him in our armoury.”

Afoa on the charge at Ashton Gate (JMPUK).

A World Cup winner with the All Blacks in 2011, Afoa has enjoyed a distinguished club career so far, representing the Blues, Ulster and Gloucester before his switch to Bristol in 2018.

He added: “It was a fantastic first season for Bristol and an easy decision to extend for another year. I’ve been in a lot of different team environments, but the culture and togetherness that Pat Lam has instilled here is right up there with the best.

“I’d like to thank my wife Theresa, children Mateo, Chloe and Violet and my family overseas for their constant backing throughout my career.

“I’ve been away from the UK for nearly ten years now and their support and understanding has been invaluable.

“I’m enjoying my rugby and contributing to the club vision. There’s lots of excitement about what the team can achieve and the quality of players that we have in the squad. We’re focused on kicking on now in the coming season and reaching those goals."

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