Zurich Premiership rugby: Big-thinking Bristol go little

Australian centre Jason Little has signed a two-year deal with Premiership club Bristol, who have also captured two of the country’s most promising youngsters.

Ambitious Bristol today confirmed the signing of Little and the England Under-21 pairing of Worcester centre Andrew Higgins and wing Philip Christophers from French club Brive.

The West Country outfit, who just missed out on the championship play-offs last season, recently signed a £2million five-year deal with Gloucestershire-based Mitsubishi Motors.

Bristol, now known as The Shoguns, have also announced that German giant Puma will be their kit sponsor for the coming season.

‘‘Obviously signing a player of Jason Little’s calibre is an important event for the club,’’ said head coach Dean Ryan.

‘‘We recognised a need to add quality into our midfield and Jason’s track record is evidence that we’re achieving that aim.

‘‘But it is equally important that we create a particular culture at Bristol Shoguns and from talking to Jason I’m confident he shares our vision for the future.

‘‘He’ll have an important part to play in passing on what he knows to young players such as Andrew and Philip.’’

Little, who was capped on 75 occasions by the Wallabies before retiring from the international scene, last week he terminated his contract with neighbours Gloucester after just one season.

‘‘Bristol turned things round in the second half of last season and I’m confident we’ll build on that,’’ said Little.

‘‘I’ve a tremendous passion for rugby and I’m going to be putting everything I can into my performance, but also helping develop some of the young guys in the squad.

‘‘In fact one measure of our success will be to see how much they come on during the next year.’’

Most Read in Sport