Six players commit to Bristol Rugby

In a time where everyone seems headed out the door at Bristol the club has been given a real boost with the news that six players have signed new contracts with the club.

The announcement is a real shot in the arm for everyone at the club as Bristol prepare for their next Guinness Premiership game – away at Bath on Saturday.

The players who have put pen to paper are Chris Ashwin, Ed Barnes, David Blaney, Mark Irish, Redford Pennycook and Roy Winters.

Head Coach Paul Hull (pictured) admitted when he spoke to the club website that he was relieved and happy to get the deals finalised and that he’s not done yet.

“I’m delighted that we’ve agreed terms with these players. We’ve worked hard to get things to this point and it’s great news for Bristol Rugby that they’ve committed themselves to the club.”

“All six of them have featured at first team level this season and will be central to our plans for next season.”

“It’s a start and I hope to have more good news before too long.”

Ashwin signed for the club in the summer of 2008 from Newbury Blues and is viewed as a real talent for the future but has still made 7 first team appearances whilst continuing his studies at Bath University.

Barnes joined Bristol from Plymouth Albion in the summer of 2007 and been a regular primarily at fly half and but is also capable of slotting in at inside centre. He has made more than 30 first team appearances and scored more than 160 points and made his England Saxons debut in January.

Blaney initially joined the club as emergency cover when Neil Clark and Saul Nelson were both lost to long term injury in a 2006-7 preseason friendly. However, he quickly impressed and earned himself a longer term deal.

Irish joined Bristol from Gloucester and, having spent the 2007-8 season on loan at Newbury, is enjoying his best season with the club making 14 first team starts this season to date.

Pennycook is a Bristol boy who has made his way through the Academy and gained plenty of experience playing for the United in the Guinness A League. In recent weeks, his performances have culminated in a Man of the Match performance against Harlequins.

Winters will return for his fifth season at Bristol since signing from Harlequins and has been a stalwart in the second row. He was capped for England in May 2007 at the end of a season when he came 2nd in the voting for PRA Player of the Year.

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