05 June 2020

Bristol Bears re-sign six Wales internationals

Premier 15s club Bristol Bears have re-signed all six Welsh internationals in their squad.

The length of each of the deals has not been disclosed.

Head coach, Kim Oliver, said: “It’s fantastic that all six talented internationals have committed to the club ahead of the new season.

“Whilst we didn’t get to see this group in a Bears shirt as much as we would have liked last season, we know how much heart, talent and leadership this group possesses and the difference they can make to the club.”

Siwan Lillicrap

Lillicrap captained Wales this season (PA)

Second row Siwan Lillicrap has impressed at club level and internationally as she captained Wales this season. She has 32 caps for her country

The 32 year-old said: “I’m very excited to have re-signed with the Bears for the upcoming season.

“I was really impressed with the environment last year, and really looking forward to being part of the team again. 

“The girls are brilliant and very much looking to being pushed to my best ability. I believe it’s an environment that I can excel in and we can achieve great things as a team this year.”

Elinor Snowsill

Snowsill is now entering her eighth season with the Bears (PA)

Fly-half Snowsill has been at the Bears for eight years and has 56 caps for Wales.

She said: "I'm really excited to be continuing my rugby journey as a Bristol Bear in what will be a huge year for women's rugby.

“The club has been my home for the past 8 years and I’m extremely grateful for their continued loyalty and support. I just can’t wait to get back on the pitch with the squad."

Keira Bevan

Bevan scored six tries for Bears this season (SIPA USA/PA Images)

Bevan has secured 34 caps in a Welsh jersey and has impressed at the Bears after scoring six tries in her debut season for the Premier 15s side.

She said: “I’m delighted to have re-signed for the Bears ahead of the upcoming season.

“I feel as though it’s an environment where I am surrounded by great players that push you to take your game to the next level and I’m excited to see what we can achieve this season."

Lauren Smyth

Smyth is 'looking forward' to next season (SIPA USA/PA Images)

Full-back Smyth is another re-signing for the Bears and with 12 caps for Wales she is an exciting talent.

She made her debut for the club this season against Saracens.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to the season ahead with Bristol Bears Women.

“Re-signing with Bristol was an easy decision with professional coaching and an amazing set-up at Shaftesbury Park - being part of the Bears family is a great feeling.”

Manon Johnes

Johnes has only been at the Bears for one season (Bristol Bears)

Johnes made her debut for Bears this season and has now committed her future to them.

The back row has ten caps for Wales.

She said: "I’m very happy to be resigning with Bristol after joining last season. I love the environment and the professionalism at Bristol and have learnt so much in the past year.

"I’m very excited to continue my development as a player and a person at the Bears over the coming season and look forward to getting back with the girls."

Caryl Thomas

Thomas has over 50 caps for Wales (PA)

Prop Thomas has 52 international caps for Wales and brings a lot of experience to the Bears front row for next season.

She said:  “Bristol is a club close to my heart full of great people. I’m excited for what’s to come for women’s rugby and I’m delighted I’ll be experiencing it at the Bears.

“We have a fantastic set-up at Shaftesbury Park and I’m looking forward to seeing how much further we can progress and develop as a playing group next season with the increased levels of professionalism at the club.”

This comes after the Bears re-signed their four England international players this week. 

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