Yann THOMAS extends his contract with Bristol - The Rugby Observer

Yann THOMAS extends his contract with Bristol

Rugby Editorial 15th May, 2024   0
Article written by: Chris Matthews

Bristol Bears have revealed that Yann Thomas, the loosehead prop, has agreed to a fresh contract with the Gallagher Premiership team.

Beginning his professional rugby journey with Gloucester in 2009, Thomas accumulated over 100 appearances for the Cherry and Whites before transferring to Rouen in 2017.

He then transitioned to Bristol Bears in 2018, amassing over 100 appearances for the club.

After the extension, Yann Thomas said:

“As a local boy who grew up just a stone’s throw from Ashton Gate, representing this great club is always a proud moment, so I’m pleased to have extended my stay here.

“It’s a young squad with bags of potential, playing an exciting brand of rugby, and it’s my role to continue to be a leader in the group and set an example on and off the pitch.”




Bristol’s director of rugby, Pat Lam, is thrilled that Thomas has opted to stay with the club for another season.

“Yann is a Bears centurion and has been an outstanding servant to this club over the last six seasons, so we’re delighted to have him commit here.


“Not only is he a proven top-class operator at Premiership and European level with vast experience, but he’s also a senior leader around our team who is always willing to help/mentor his teammates on and off the field.

“That will be hugely important to our young and exciting squad next season, which is pleasing .”

Early Life and Rugby Beginnings

Born and bred in Bristol, Thomas’s rugby journey began practically on the doorstep of Ashton Gate, the Bears’ home stadium.

Growing up just minutes away, he honed his skills at Nailsea and Backwell RFC, a local club that has produced several professional players. Attending Ashton Park School, rugby was likely as natural a part of his life as breathing the Bristol air.

Building a Career at Gloucester

While Bristol Bears would eventually hold a special place in his heart, Thomas’s professional career began with rivals Gloucester Rugby in 2009. He quickly established himself as a dependable loosehead prop, racking over 100 appearances for the Cherry and Whites. His talent and work ethic shone through, earning him valuable experience in the Gallagher Premiership, England’s top tier of rugby union.

Fans can engage more deeply with Thomas’s career and performances by participating in fantasy rugby leagues at the best DFS sites. It allows fans to make strategic decisions and gain a manager’s perspective.

A Brief French Interlude: Rouen Calling

In 2017, Thomas explored new pastures, venturing across the English Channel to play for French club Rouen in the Pro D2, the second division of French professional rugby. This stint, though brief, likely added a new dimension to his skillset, exposing him to a different style of play.

A Return to Bristol

The call of home proved too strong for Thomas. In 2018, he returned to Bristol to wear the Bears shirt. This homecoming was more than symbolic; it marked the beginning of a special chapter in his career.

The passionate Bristol fanbase quickly embraced him, recognizing his playing ability and his local connection.

Leadership and Legacy

Since his return, Thomas has become a stalwart of the Bristol pack. He has surpassed the 100-appearance mark for the Bears, adding to his impressive overall tally of over 200 appearances in Premiership and European competitions.

As Bristol Director of Rugby Pat Lam highlighted, Thomas isn’t just a “proven top-class operator” and a “senior leader” who sets the example on and off the field.  His experience is crucial for nurturing the young players and fostering a positive team culture.

Final Thoughts

Yann Thomas’s new contract with Bristol Bears shows his lasting commitment to the club. From his early career at Gloucester to his time in France and return to Bristol, Thomas has shown dedication and growth.

Fans can connect more with his career through fantasy rugby leagues, experiencing what it’s like to make team decisions. Thomas’s journey highlights the value of local talent and the strong bond between players and their community.

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