How Bristol Bears could line up for the remainder of the Premiership season

How Bristol Bears could line up for the remainder of the Premiership season

Pat Lam has been one of the busiest coaches in terms of transfers with six new players joining the club permanently with two loanees joining from Saracens.

The resume their race for a top place finish and a route in the playoffs on Saturday 15 August with a home game against Saracens where Ben Earl and Max Malins could get a shot at their parent club while on loan at Ashton Gate.


Pat Lam made two superstar signings with Kyle Sinckler joining from Harlequins and Fijian back Semi Radradra joining from Bordeaux. He has also made some clever additions in Mitch Eadie from Northampton Saints, Chris Cook from Bath and Bryan Byrne from Leinster.

There is also somewhat of an unknown entity in league convert Ratu Naulago from Hull that completes an exciting line up of new talents arriving at Ashton Gate.

We take a look at a potential Bears line up for the conclusion of the Premiership 2019/20 season.


1. Jake Woolmore

A solid loosehead, Jake Woolmore is likely to start the big games for Bristol with the more than capable Yann Thomas backing him up on the bench as they have done for a large part of this season.


2. Harry Thacker

Thacker was sidelined for quite some time with Bryan Byrne impressing Pat Lam enough during his stint with the side to warrant a full-time contract with the Bears.

Will Capon will also be in the mix after taking over the #2 jersey in Thacker's absence but if Thacker is fit, he will more than likely be the starting rake. 

3. Kyle Sinckler

In Sinckler, John Afoa, Jake Armstrong and Max Lahiff, the Bears are well-stocked at tighthead. 

Sinckler will be inching to make his mark at Ashton Gate and will likely be backed up by former All Black John Afoa.

4. Dave Attwood

Attwood has quickly become a regular starter since his return to Bristol last year and is set to continue in that role with a number of players pushing him for a starting role.

Ed Holmes and Joe Joyce have impressed when given the chance while Academy graduate John Hawkins will also look to make a claim for a spot.

5. Chris Vui

A key man in the Bristol pack, Vui has been one of the standout forwards in the Premiership this season.

Although we have added him in the second row, he is more than capable of turning out on the blindside of the scrum having done so for Samoa in the World Cup and Bristol before the Premiership was brought to a halt. 

6. Steven Luatua

The arrival of Nathan Hughes has seen Luatua turn out more and more on the side of the scrum, something he is more than accustomed too. 

The Bristol captain has again had a great season for the side and is set to continue in the #6 jumper while also providing cover at lock and no.8.

Returning Bristolian Mitch Eadie will also look to book a place somewhere in the back row as too will youngster James Dun.

7. Ben Earl

One of two loanees from Saracens, Ben Earl's form in the Premiership for Saracens earned him a test call up and subsequent test debut.

Although Earl's form has warranted test recognition he may spend the opening rounds coming off the bench for Daniel Thomas who really hasn't done anything to warrant losing his starting role.

Whichever way Pat Lam decides to go, he will have an excellent openside flanker to turn with another option in Jake Heenan and Mitch Eadie able to pack down on the openside.

8. Nathan Hughes 

One the form no.8s in the Premiership this season alongside Alex Dombrandt, Sam Simmons and Dan du Preez, Hughes leads the way in carries, defenders beaten and running metres for forwards in the competition.

Hughes continues to territories defenders out wide once the Premiership resumes with Steven Luatua and Ben Earl providing cover for the England International.

9. Harry Randall

Pat Lam has added to his scrumhalf options with the signing of Chris Cook with the former Bath nine adding his name alongside Harry Randall and Andy Uren for a starting place.

We expect Lam to hand the #9 jersey to Randall for the big games with either Cook or Uren off the bench. 

10. Callum Sheedy

Callum Sheedy has made the pivot role his own with the 24-year-old shutting Ian Madigan out with the latter returning to Ireland.

Sheedy won't have a clear run to the starting jersey though with the young Tiff Eden having graduated from the Academy while loanee Max Malin could well play 10 and 15 for the side.

11. Alapati Leiua

Toby Fricker, Charlie Powell and Henry Purdy could well make a claim for the jersey but with the set up we have gone for Alapati Leiua will race down the touchline in the #11 jersey.

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A lethal finish Leiua is has electrifying pace, a super side step and is solid in defence. 

12. Piers O'Connor

It could be Sam Bedlow or Siale Piutau in the Bears backline but we have tipped Piers O'Connor to start at 12.

Again Lam can't really go wrong with any of the above-mentioned players in the starting XV. 

Henry Purdy is also able to play in the midfield.

13.  Semi Radradra

The star signing for the Bears.

Radradra played on the wing for Fiji at the Rugby World Cup in Japan but he is more accustomed to playing at outside centre and considering the depth Bristol have out wide, Radradra will likely don the #13 jersey.

Regardless of where he plays, he will make an impact. 

14. Luke Morahan

It will certainly be interesting to see where Siva Naulago turns out for the Bears. The club's official website lists him as a winger but we could well see him follow a number of league converts in playing centre.

Unfortunately for the news signing, we still predict that Luke Morahan will continue his fine form on the right-wing for the side.

Morahan could well turn out at fullback as well having done so throughout his career.

15. Charles Piutau

The arrival of Max Malins from Saracens will provide Charles Piutau with more competition for his jersey but Malins is likely to feature largely from the bench.

Piutau has been incredible once again this Premiership season and we shouldn't expect anything less once the games return. 

He tops the defenders beaten, carries, metres gained and offloads (joint leader) in the competition. 

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