Bristol have shown their Premiership title ambitions by announcing the signing of Fijian winger Semi Radradra on a three-year deal.
One of the standout players at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, Radradra has agreed to move to Ashton Gate next season and turned down a return to the NRL in the process.
The former Parramatta Eel star had been linked with a move to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but his time working with Pat Lam and the Barbarians earlier this year appears to have laid the groundwork for Radradra’s preferred option.
“I’m looking forward to coming to the Premiership and to be playing under Pat Lam at Bristol Bears,” said Radradra, who was part of the Barbarians squad which beat England under Lam at Twickenham last May.
“They are one of the most exciting teams in Europe right now and the way that they are doing things is making everybody take notice.
Capped ten times by Fiji, Radradra has spent the three seasons in France playing for Toulon and currently Bordeaux Begles.
Winning plaudits for his displays in the World Cup group stage, Radradra is a player set to welcomed at Ashton Gate with open arms by Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam.
“There is no doubt that Semi is one of the best players in the world – he’s truly a world class performer and we are so excited about what he can do for the team,” said Lam.
“Every top club across both codes on the planet wanted him, so for Bristol to be able to bring in a player of his quality underlines the fantastic work that the club is doing. Semi has clarity about our vision and knows what the club want to achieve. As a person and a player, he is perfect for our culture which places an emphasis on community and high performance.
“I got to know Semi well at the Barbarians and we were blown away by his professionalism and dedication. He is world class because of the relentless work and preparation he puts into his game, day in day out. It’s no surprise that he has taken the World Cup and French Top 14 by storm – Semi is the ultimate professional.
“We believe the Gallagher Premiership is the best league in the world and Semi’s arrival into the league will only enhance the product further. He’s an unstoppable force and we are looking forward to seeing him light up the competition for the next three seasons.”
The Rugby Paper has reported this month how Bristol are determined to put the sanctions handed to Saracens for breaching the salary cap to their own advantage.
Pat Lam is seeking to add international class which extends beyond the addition of Radradra, with Ireland hooker Rory Best and Wales flanker Justin Tipuric subjects of interest from the Premiership’s first-placed team after four rounds.
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