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Star Studded Bristol Imports Heading For The Championship

European Rugby Champions Round 6, Kingspan Stadium, Belfast 21/1/2017 Ulster vs Bordeaux-Begles Bordeaux-Begles' Ian Madigan

Bristol have had a terrible season and after their heavy 32-14 loss to Gloucester on Friday night they look condemned to the Championship.

Despite the awful form, they have not struggled in attracting some star names to join the ranks at Ashton Gate including current Connacht coach Pat Lam.

All Black Steven Luatua is one such name, the blindside flanker has amassed 15 New Zealand caps and at only 25 years of age is by no means coming towards the end of his career.

The Blues flanker is widely regarded as one of the strongest ball carriers in Super Rugby, a man on his talent in England’s second tier is almost inconceivable. This is now though a real possibility as Bristol continue slipping away from Worcester in 11th.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 01:  Steven Luatua of the New Zealand All Blacks passes the ball during a training session at Toyota Park on November 1, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Bristol have also snapped up Irish fly-half Ian Madigan, the star of Ireland’s 2015 World Cup campaign.

Madigan will join up with Bristol at the start of next season to end his year-long stint in Bordeaux.

The 28-year-old has a great handling game his passing is exquisite and the way he finds space is inspiring. Madigan would add something really special to the Bristol backline with his vision.

The most recent of these international imports is Luke Morahan, the 26-year-old has played for the Wallabies three times.

Morahan is quick, his pace is enough to match the speed at which some of the quicker Premiership teams play at never mind the Championship.

A Wallaby, All Black and Ireland player in a Championship side is becoming an ever more likely prospect.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10:  Luke Morahan of the Force in action during the round three Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and the Force at GIO Stadium on March 10, 2017 in Canberra, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

The final international they have brought in is Wasps centre Alapati Leiua, the 10 cap Samoa centre is physical and powerful.

He has been a welcome contrast to the deft hands of Elliot Daly for Wasps this season creating a very well balanced midfield partnership.

Bristol have also managed to snap up prop pairing of Jack Cosgrove, 22 and Sione Faletau, 28.

The ages are maybe the most puzzling thing – all of Bristol’s new faces are 28 years old or younger and consigning themselves to a season in the Championship.

Potential Bristol XV next season

15 Jason Woodward 14 Luke Morahan 13 Alapati Leiua 12 Will Hurrell 11 Tom Varndell 10 Ian Madigan 9 Alby Mathewson

1 Soane Tonga’huia 2 Ross McMillan 3 Anthony Perenise 4 Ian Evans 5 Dan Tuohy 6 Steven Luatua 7 Jack Lam 8 Jordan Crane (Captain)

Head Coach: Pat Lam

Fred Blagden, Pundit Arena


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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.