Bristol Bears prop John Afoa to leave Premiership club at end of season

John Afoa has made 86 appearances for Bristol Bears
John Afoa has made 86 appearances for Bristol Bears
©Steve Haag

Bristol Bears have announced that former New Zealand prop John Afoa will leave the Gallagher Premiership club at the end of the ongoing season.

The 38-year-old joined Bristol ahead of the 2018/19 season and has racked up 86 appearances for the club while featuring in the Premiership team of the season on three occasions.

Apart from featuring for them this season, Afoa also took the responsibility of scrum coach replacing Alasdair Dickinson. He will now join French Pro D2 side RC Vannes after signing a two-year contract.

Bristol Director of Rugby Pat Lam had high praises for Afoa and his contribution to the club.

"Jonny leaves a legacy as one of the greatest ever tightheads to play in the Premiership. As well as being a world class scrummager, his skill level and ability to play ball ('the Razzle') is second to none. To perform consistently at the top for over 20 years is a testament to his dedication, commitment and love of our game.

“Jonny was key signing for us when we returned to the Premiership in 2018 and he made the exact impact I was looking for as a leader and mentor helping the club make huge strides on our journey to Inspiring Our Community Through Rugby Success.

“I am delighted that Jonny has an opportunity to experience a new country as part of his amazing rugby journey and he departs with massive respect and the gratitude of everybody at the Bears community.”

Bristol are positioned 10th in the Gallagher Premiership table with seven wins from 22 games.