Virimi Vakatawa Returns to Professional Rugby, for Bears

Virimi Vakatawa will make his return to rugby, almost a year since being sidelined due a heart condition, but this time in a Bristol Bears jersey.

The English premiership club confirmed the signing, for a year, in a statement published on their website.

The 31-year-old was with French club Racing where he scored more than 40 tries in 146 appearances when he was diagnosed. He was then barred from playing in September last year.

The signing, until the end of the 2023/24 season, comes after an independent review by an expert panel of leading sports cardiologists cleared Vakatawa to return to professional rugby.

“I’m excited to be joining Bristol Bears and to be continuing my rugby career at the highest level. After working with Pat during my time with the Barbarians, I knew that this was the right place for me and I can’t wait to play in front of the Bristol fans,” Vakatawa said in a statement.

“The Premiership has always been an exciting competition, so I’m looking forward to experiencing it this season, and representing the Bears in the Champions Cup.”

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