Steven Luatua and Siva Naulago sign new deals with Bristol

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam
Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam
©Steve Haag

With a "re-setting" process set to happen at Bristol Bears over the summer, the club have tied down Steven Luatua and wing Siva Naulago to new deals.

Pat Lam's side is reportedly set to see 17 players move on from Ashton Gate - including Kyle Sinckler - but the experienced Luatua and Naulago will stay put in 'Bear Country'.

Born in New Zealand, Luatua started his career with provincial side Auckland in 2010 and went on to make his Super Rugby debut with the Blues in 2012.

The 33-year-old made his Bristol debut in the summer of 2017 and has made 126 appearances across seven seasons. He has also captained the club 90 times.

“The opportunity to stay at the club was an easy decision to me. I’m proud to represent this club and I know how much it means to the city," said Luatua to the club's official website.

“I’m grateful to Pat, Chris and the Lansdown family for the faith they show in me and also to the community who have made me and my family so welcome here.

“I think of how far we have come during my time here and I believe we have so much more to achieve. I’m excited by the potential of our young and hungry squad next season and excited to see what we can accomplish.”

His new contract is a sign that Lam sees the leadership of Luatua - and the likes of Ellis Genge and AJ MacGinty - as invaluable, with the Bears set to have a relatively young side for 2024-25.

Naulago, 32, isn't a part of the youthful crop at Bristol but he will also add some experience to a team ready to enter a new phase.

“I’m so thankful to all the staff behind the scenes at the club – the medical team, the athletic performance department, and of course the coaches and my teammates – for helping me through some tough times on the side lines," said Naulago to the club's official website.

“I’m enjoying my time with the Bears and can’t wait to repay the faith put in me by everybody at the club. It’s an exciting time to be at the Bears and I’m loving every minute.”

Bristol are in fourth place in the Gallagher Premiership table with 10 wins from 16 matches as they look to finish in the play-offs for the first time since 2020-21.