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34 minutes ago, Barrs Court Red said:

No, they’ve annoyingly stopped it - I think they only did it for the first couple of years. 

Darn, I knew I had it before. They should bring it back especially with this whole one team image 

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Rich Lane has signed on a permanent deal, which after his performances I am very pleased about, he looks a quality player. Not so worried about Charles being crocked for half a season now

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Well that's the season done, as far as home games anyway. Unexpected but well deserved win against Exeter. A great team effort, shame it didn't happen like that all season, Charles was red hot tonight and it made the difference.

Just got to say how well The Bears do the end of season stuff. For those who don't know Pat gathers the players in a semi circle Infront of the Lansdown. He gives a short speech about each player that is leaving and they one by one go and collect a gift bag with a shirt in and other momentos. Some of those players say a few words to the crowd. Joe Joyce completed the evening by singing 'Blackbird' which must have taken some nerve!

It's quite an emotional thing saying goodbye, but it is done so well. We never get to do that with our footballers which is a huge shame for many.

A couple of photos from last night. After the match I wandered over to the singing section as I have never seen the view from there and the railing seats.

IMG_20220520_214113.jpg

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IMG_20220520_220025.jpg

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16 minutes ago, RedM said:

Well that's the season done, as far as home games anyway. Unexpected but well deserved win against Exeter. A great team effort, shame it didn't happen like that all season, Charles was red hot tonight and it made the difference.

Just got to say how well The Bears do the end of season stuff. For those who don't know Pat gathers the players in a semi circle Infront of the Lansdown. He gives a short speech about each player that is leaving and they one by one go and collect a gift bag with a shirt in and other momentos. Some of those players say a few words to the crowd. Joe Joyce completed the evening by singing 'Blackbird' which must have taken some nerve!

It's quite an emotional thing saying goodbye, but it is done so well. We never get to do that with our footballers which is a huge shame for many.

A couple of photos from last night. After the match I wandered over to the singing section as I have never seen the view from there and the railing seats.

IMG_20220520_214113.jpg

IMG_20220520_212736.jpg

IMG_20220520_220025.jpg

No pitch invasion I see...

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1 hour ago, Super said:

No pitch invasion I see...

No, to be fair there was no intent either. There was an announcement just before the match ended explaining the players wanted to do their presentations on the pitch and asked people to stay off. After the presentation they said that players would go round the ground and have photos and sign things, which they did.

As you might know there was no relegation this season, so no big celebration as we stayed up. Also even when we finished top last season there has to be the playoffs so nothing is won as such so it’s different to football in that sense. 

I just liked the way the Bears handled their goodbyes. It was very much ‘once a Bear always a Bear’ and talk of leaving ‘The Family’. I just thought it was done well.

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On 12/05/2022 at 07:25, MichaelRobartes said:

 

On 27/05/2022 at 19:44, elhombrecito said:

Screenshot_20220527-194409-632.png

A bizarre and extraordinary story! 

Nice to have the Prem winning captain with us next season... 

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https://www.bristolbearsrugby.com/news/club-legend-joe-joyce-to-depart-at-end-of-202223-season/

Blimey

 

Banner image

CLUB LEGEND JOE JOYCE TO DEPART AT END OF 2022/23 SEASON

MONDAY, JUNE 20TH 2022

Bristolian stalwart Joe Joyce has taken the decision to depart Bristol Bears at the end of the 2022/23 season to join Irish province Connacht.

After more than eleven years and 151 appearances since graduating through the Academy, Joyce will depart for a new challenge in the west of Ireland next summer.

“As everyone knows I’m a homegrown lad and a proud Bristolian, but I’m also hugely proud of my Irish heritage, so when this opportunity came about, I had to make a really tough decision and Connacht is really the only other club I’d play for,” said Joyce.

“I’ve been here ten years now and loved every second of it, but if I’m going to take on a new challenge, it’s got to be next year. I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved at Bristol over such a long time but if I looked back on my career and didn’t take the opportunity to play in a different environment, I didn’t want any regrets.

“I think the right move for me now would be to represent the Joyce name and my heritage in Galway. I’ve had some emotional conversations with Pat, Steve, Jon and Chris and they’ve been very supportive and understood the feelings behind it.

“I’ll always be grateful for how understanding they’ve been and what they have done for me and for sport in this city. Before Pat came, some people said I’d never play in the Premiership and now I’ve captained the club, made over 150 appearances and won a European Cup.

“I said I didn’t want them to try and make me an offer to stay because playing for Bristol has never been about the money. I just know that now is the right time for me to experience something new.

“It’s not over yet – there’s a huge season ahead of us and I’m determined to help make it the best one yet.”

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“As everyone knows I’m a homegrown lad and a proud Bristolian, but I’m also hugely proud of my Irish heritage, so when this opportunity came about, I had to make a really tough decision and Connacht is really the only other club I’d play for.”

Joe Joyce

Joyce was named Forward of the Season, Team Man of the Season and Supporters Player of the Season at the club’s end of season awards and has helped the Bears to two promotions, a maiden European trophy and a top-of-the-table finish in the Gallagher Premiership during his time at Ashton Gate.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “Joe is a true legend of Bristol Bears and he carries the utmost respect from everybody in the club. The way he has handled this situation, and the honesty and maturity he has showed, is just an example of the man he is.

“We are sad to lose Joycey but he is still a young man who wants to go out and challenge himself and create new experiences. We understand that and, first and foremost, our commitment is to Joe and Lauren and supporting them wholeheartedly in the life decisions they choose.

“What makes me most proud of with Joycey is the way he has grown – as a leader and a player – in the last five years. He has worked tirelessly to be the best he can be and he is a perfect example to young Bristolians of what can he achieved through diligence and hard work.

“Joe has one more year with this group and he will be more determined than ever to leave his boyhood club on a high. He will be a key leader in our Bears Team Culture in 2022/23 and I know he will continue to drive the standards and reflect the Spirit of the Bears in everything he does.”

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He did an interview on the Bears beyond the gate podcast and said he'd rather play for Ireland than England - he must've spoken to Andy Farrell. 

Someone said on the forum there would be an announcement and that it was linked to Vui's 4 year deal.  Perhaps we can't pay Joycey what he's worth or at least what he feels he's worth?

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15 minutes ago, MichaelRobartes said:

That's a great signing for Connacht. Irish-qualified as well. The picture may look very different in a year, but second row isn't an area of huge strength for Ireland at the moment and there's a World Cup next year...

Will he be able to play for Ireland from next season?

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1 minute ago, The Bard said:

Will he be able to play for Ireland from next season?

With a couple of exceptions (Sexton at R92 and Geordan Murphy at Tigers spring to mind), Ireland don't pick players who don't play in Ireland. I remember Tadhg Beirne being selected for Ireland whilst still under contract at Scarlets, but I think it was after the season had finished and he was joining Munster in a month or two anyway. Theoretically it's possible, but probably unlikely. 

No idea if he'll even be on Farrell's radar but if he starts well with Connacht then who knows. He'll only be 29. I wonder how much of the decision is based on his international ambitions. and how much is IRFU-led. He's a few U20s caps for us and the IRFU are generally keen to get Irish-qualified players on board. It's not every day that a guy with Joyce's experience becomes available.

He may also just want to live and play in Ireland before he retires. Either way it's a really good signing for Connacht. 

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4 minutes ago, MichaelRobartes said:

With a couple of exceptions (Sexton at R92 and Geordan Murphy at Tigers spring to mind), Ireland don't pick players who don't play in Ireland. I remember Tadhg Beirne being selected for Ireland whilst still under contract at Scarlets, but I think it was after the season had finished and he was joining Munster in a month or two anyway. Theoretically it's possible, but probably unlikely. 

No idea if he'll even be on Farrell's radar but if he starts well with Connacht then who knows. He'll only be 29. I wonder how much of the decision is based on his international ambitions. and how much is IRFU-led. He's a few U20s caps for us and the IRFU are generally keen to get Irish-qualified players on board. It's not every day that a guy with Joyce's experience becomes available.

He may also just want to live and play in Ireland before he retires. Either way it's a really good signing for Connacht. 

So if Farrell wants him involved he could pick him in the Autumn & 6 nations as long as the IRFU are happy?

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Just now, MichaelRobartes said:

Exactly. It might even explain the really early announcement, but I suppose there are loads of possible reasons for that. 

Given he publicly stated a desire to play for Ireland, this isn't as surprising as it initially felt. People assume a homegrown player will stay for their whole career. 

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20 hours ago, The Bard said:

Given he publicly stated a desire to play for Ireland, this isn't as surprising as it initially felt. People assume a homegrown player will stay for their whole career. 

He's going to have lived the dream after having played for both of the clubs that are special to him. Good on him. Hope he has a brilliant season for Bristol and arrives in Galway on top form.

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