Bristol Bears prop Lewis Thiede will be leaving Ashton Gate at the end of his contract.
The tighthead forward, expecting his first child with his partner, will move to London having spent the past two seasons at Bristol.
Thiede has made 31 appearances for Bears since joining Bristol from Ealing Trailfinders, and director of rugby Pat Lam was complementary of the improvement the prop has made during his time with the club.
“Lewis departs at the end of his contract with our best wishes and full support. He’s a hugely popular member of the group and we are grateful for his contribution to the club,” Lam said of Thiede.
“It’s an exciting time for him and his partner Kate, who are expecting their first baby and are looking forward to starting a family in London, where Kate grew up.
“What’s been really pleasing is how Lewis has developed during his time here. Our culture is all about growing as a person and a professional. Lewis will leave as a better rugby player and with an exciting chapter of his life ahead of him, both personally and on the field.”
Bristol are assembling a squad ready to compete for major honours next season, with England international Kyle Sinckler set to join the team’s front row.
Lam has also buffed the backline significantly with the acquisitions of Saracens full-back Max Malins and Fiji superstar Semi Radradra.
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