Five more players agree permanent deals with Bristol Rugby
BRISTOL will today confirm that five more players – all of whom were signed either on loan or short-term deals toward the end of last season – have now agreed permanent contracts with the club.
Centre Luke Eves, fly-half Matt Jones, prop Mark Lilley, lock Glen Townson and flanker Redford Pennycook have all signed new terms for the 2012-13 season.
Bristolians Eves and Pennycook joined Bristol on short-term deals from Newcastle in January, Jones arrived from Newport Gwent Dragons, Lilley was on loan from Bath and Townson from Newcastle.
But the quintet are all now full-time Bristol players – and Eves has spoken of how his disappointment and hurt at missing out on promotion to the Aviva Premiership has now turned to hunger and desire to achieve the goal next year.
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Bristol were beaten by Cornish Pirates in the Championship semi-final, going down 45-24 in the first leg, before winning the second 29-18 at the Memorial Stadium.
The 23-year-old said: "It took me a while to get over the disappointment of the semi-final – but I have been so happy since I came back to Bristol.
"No disrespect to Newcastle, but I lost a bit of enjoyment in the game when I was up there. Of course it hurt to lose in the semi-final of the play-offs – but that has given me a real hunger and determination to go for promotion next season.
"I felt we were the best team in the league this season, but it came down to the last few minutes at Pirates, where we let ourselves down – and you can't have those lapses of concentration in big games. But, with the players and coaches we have got, and the quality of players we have coming in, I don't think we will make those same mistakes again.
"We are bringing in a few guys with Premiership experience and they will add to the squad we have here and make us even stronger.
"You need to take a bit of time away from the game, especially after a defeat like the one we had in the semi-finals, but as a club we are already looking forward to next season."
Eves, pictured, scored three tries in 11 appearances after rejoining Bristol in January, while Townson – another recruit from the Falcons – joined in November on loan and appeared 17 times for Bristol.
Pennycook, who also joined Bristol from Newcastle, returned from neck surgery to make his only start in the 26-20 win at London Welsh in April.
Fly-half Jones scored 93 points in ten appearances for Bristol towards the end of the season, while prop Lilley played eight times for the club after joining on loan from Bath.
Bristol centre Fautua Otto has been named in the Samoa squad for the IRB Pacific Nations Cup in Japan.
LAST NIGHT'S RESULTS
Championship, play-off final, second leg: London Welsh 29 Cornish Pirates 20 (66-41 on agg).