Luke Morahan has scored three attempts for Bristol this season in the Premier League

Australian defender Luke Morahan and Dan Thomas from the back row are among the 16 players who have agreed on new contracts with the Bristol Bears for the 2022-23 Premier League season.

The 32-year-old Morahan has played 96 games for the club since joining them from the Western Force Super Rugby team in 2017.

The 29-year-old Thomas moved to Bristol from Gloucester the same year and played 108 games for the club.

“We’ve always talked about getting the core group going if we progress,” said rugby director Pat Lam.

Full-back Pierce O’Connor, who, like Thomas, has played more than 100 games, and Fijian winger Siva Naulago, who in 2020 the codes were transferred to the alliance with FC Hull – also extended their stay in the club.

The list also includes Jake Hinan, Harry Thacker, Brian Byrne, Jake Kerr, Max Lachif, Jake Armstrong, Ian Thomas, as well as Academy graduates John Hawkins, James Dunn, Will Caipon, Sam Jeffries and Charlie Powell.

“We are excited to see a talented and experienced group of guys who are dedicated to Bears, most of whom have been with us since the beginning of our journey,” Lam added.

“This world-class talent is mixed with home-grown talent who is taking a step forward – we’ve seen it in the way young players have made their mark during the current campaign.”

The Bears are currently ranked 10th in the Premier League table and will be home from Exeter Chiefs on Friday.

Their last game of the season will be away at the Sale Sharks on June 4th.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/61471795?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA

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