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Bristol Bears confirm departure of Piers O’Conor

Bristol Bears have today confirmed centre Piers O’Conor will join URC side Connacht at the end of the season. 

O’Connor joined the Bears in 2018 from Championship side Ealing Trailfinders, and went onto make 137 appearances for the club in his six seasons. He also notched 36 tries for the club.

Commenting on O’Connor’s departure, Bears Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “Piers has been a fantastic servant to this club, with more than 100 appearances and countless important performances during his six years with us. His journey from the Championship to being a Bears centurion shows how hard he has worked and developed.”

He added: “I have no doubt that his dedication and work ethic will soon make him a fan favourite in the West of Ireland and we wish him and his partner Hannah all the best for their next chapter with another great club in Connacht.”

O’Connor quickly became a mainstay in the side following his move from Ealing. He was a part of the squad that won the European Challenge Cup in 2020. He was also one of their best players during the 2021 season, where they finished top of the Premiership

Reflecting on his time at the Bears, O’Connor said: “I’ve absolutely loved my time with Bristol Bears and have made some friends for life here. From winning the Challenge Cup to finishing top of the Premiership, I’ll take some very fond memories with me into the next chapter of my career.”

He added: “I leave the Bears programme a better player and will always be proud of the contribution I’ve made.”

He will join the Irish province at the start of next season, where he will compete with fellow centres Bundee Aki and Tom Farrell for a spot in the team.