Jonathan Thomas: Bristol appoint ex-Wales, Ospreys & Worcester forward as coach

Jonathan Thomas
Forward Jonathan Thomas won 67 caps for Wales, scoring seven tries

Premiership newcomers Bristol have brought in experienced former Wales international Jonathan Thomas to join their coaching staff at Ashton Gate.

The 33-year-old former Ospreys and Worcester utility forward is to join Andy Robinson's staff as defence coach ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

The double Grand Slam winner captained Warriors to Championship play-off glory over two legs against Bristol in 2015.

But he was forced to retire as a player four months later on medical advice.

He was diagnosed with epilepsy, thought to have been caused by multiple head traumas, which led to a brain injury.

"Successful teams in the Premiership are built on a strong defence," said Robinson. "Jon is an important addition to our coaching set-up.

"I'd pinpointed him as an ideal candidate for the role and Jon has impressed us with his knowledge and understanding."

The arrival of Thomas follows the departure last week of first-team coach Sean Holley by mutual consent.

Bristol sign USA centre Palamo from Sarries

Bristol have signed Saracens' 15-times capped USA international centre Thretton Palamo, 27, who spent last season on loan at London Welsh.

"Thretton is a big, physical player who has explosive power and pace," said director of rugby Andy Robinson. "He is raw and has lots to learn, but we are confident he can flourish in our environment.

"We've seen in the past with the likes of David Lemi and Fautua Otto there are players on the sevens circuit who can make a real impact in the fifteens game."

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