Talking point: Did Bristol Rugby’s youngsters take their opportunity to impress?
LIAM Middleton, as one may expect from Bristol's former academy manager, is not afraid to entrust the younger members of his squad with first-team responsibilities.
This afternoon, with Bristol missing backs Jack Tovey, George Watkins, Bryan Rennie, Fautua Otto, Matt Williams and Adrian Jarvis, Middleton asked untried 21-year-olds Ryan Edwards and Jack Gadd to fill in and take their chance against Newcastle.
Wing Edwards grabbed his opportunity, scoring Bristol's first try in their 37-20 defeat and providing arguably their main attacking threat, while Gadd – playing alongside fellow academy graduate Luke Eves in the centre – delivered his most assured performance yet in a Bristol shirt.
After the match, Middleton said that he is unlikely to welcome any of his injured back-line players back into the fray in the near future, and hinted at extended runs in the team for Edwards and Gadd.
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Were you at the match? If so, do you think the young duo did enough to warrant a lengthy run in the Bristol team?