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Young guns commit futures to Bristol Bears

A trio of Bristol’s exciting young guns have penned extensions to remain at the club.

Senior Academy players Sam Bedlow (two years) and John Hawkins (one year) agree senior contracts, while highly rated Ioan Lloyd signs a four-year professional contract.

23 year-old centre Bedlow, who can also play fly-half, joined Bristol from Sale Sharks during the summer 2017 and has made 13 appearances for the club including one in the Gallagher Premiership.

“Sam is a young player who has made significant progress during the season,” said head coach Pat Lam.

“His ability to play at centre and fly-half makes him a versatile player and we believe there is plenty more development to come from him.”

22 year-old lock Hawkins has been with the club’s Academy since 2015 and continues to challenge for first team honours, having made seven appearances so far this season.

Lam added: “John has had a difficult time with injuries, but he has shown coachability, as well as a fantastic attitude and desire to improve. We’re excited by the potential and now that he is injury free, he has an opportunity to continue improving as a player.”

17 year-old Lloyd, currently studying at Clifton College, became the second youngest player to play a competitive game for Bristol when he came on as a second-half replacement during the club’s Premiership Cup clash with Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.

The Wales U18 international, who is equally as comfortable at fly half and full back, also featured in the Premiership Rugby Sevens during the summer, scoring against Sale Sharks in the pool stages.

“Ioan is an exciting talent who perfectly fits the club’s long-term plan and vision for homegrown players,” said Academy manager, Mike Hall.

“He has already had a taste of the senior setup, both in training and on matchdays and we are delighted to have signed him on a four-year contract.”