Former Saints favourite Reihana returns to English rugby

Bruce Reihana was a fans' favourite at Franklin's Gardens
Bruce Reihana was a fans' favourite at Franklin's Gardens
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Former Saints full-back Bruce Reihana is set to return to English rugby after agreeing to join Bristol as skills coach.

Reihana, who spent nine years as a player at Northampton before leaving to join Bordeaux-Begles in 2011, will link up with fellow former Saint Pat Lam at the west country club this summer.

Lam will leave Connacht to become head coach at Bristol at the conclusion of the current campaign.

It looks at though Bristol will by plying their trade in the Championship next season as the Ashton Gate outfit are currently nine points adrift at the bottom of the table with just four league games to go.

But that hasn’t stopped them spending big, with Irish fly-half Ian Madigan among several star signings ahead of next season.

Kiwi Reihana will help to coach those players and he will bring experience after spending the past two years on the management team at Bordeaux.

“The addition of Bruce to the coaching set-up is a major coup for us,” Bristol’s acting head coach Mark Tainton said.

“Not only is he an excellent coach, he knows the English game and what is required to break down opposition defences here.

“He understands Pat Lam’s philosophy, and wants to promote an exciting brand of rugby.

“There is no denying Bruce was an exciting and influential player during his career.

“We look forward to seeing him bring that innovation to his coaching of our young squad next season.”