Bristol dodge massive upset thanks to Siva Naulago hat-trick against bottom-placed Worcester

With eight minutes remaining, Callum Sheedy succeeded with a touchline conversion to Naulago’s third to give Bristol a 24-23 bonus-point victory and condemn Worcester to an 11th successive defeat.

Andy Uren was Bristol’s other try-scorer with Sheedy kicking two conversions.

Perry Humphreys and Francois Venter scored Worcester’s tries with Billy Searle kicking three penalties and a conversion. Jamie Shillcock added a conversion.

Worcester suffered a pre-match blow when their captain Ted Hill was forced to withdraw, having failed to recover from a back problem.

Bristol's Steven Luatua OUT of Friday night's Challenge Cup final in France

The New Zealander is awaiting the birth of his child back in Bristol and although there was a contingency plan organised to fly the All Black out on Friday morning, it was decided with his partner Olivia still in labour that Luatua would remain at home with the full support of the club.

Director of rugby Pat Lam said on the club website: “Steven was desperate to play and be with his teammates so we made sure we gave him every opportunity to get here because he is such an important leader for our team.

Piutau and Purdy to miss Challenge Cup final, injury doubts over some other Bristol players

Full-back Piutau and wing Purdy have been sidelined for recent Bristol games because of achilles and hamstring injuries, respectively. Max Malins wore the No15 shirt against Wasps, with Piers O’Conor on the wing.

“There are a few niggles we have got to overcome before Friday, so I have given the guys as much time as possible. Obviously, Nathan Hughes and Chris Vui from the weekend, but the game has come too early for Charles Piutau and Henry Purdy,” said Bristol boss Lam

Bristol's big name signings to be given European Cup green light

The enforced ending of the Top14 league in France and the delayed conclusion to the Gallagher Premiership and Guinness Pro14 seasons has seen players move clubs in recent weeks, with new contracts coming into force on July 1.

That has created unique qualification situations and with the quarter-finals of both European competitions to be staged on the weekend of September 18, squads have been bolstered by new arrivals.

Piutau signs new one-year deal at Bristol

The 34-year-old former Tonga captain joined Bristol in 2017 and is closing in on 50 first-team appearances for the Gallagher Premiership club.

“Siale is a key part of our group,” Bristol rugby director Pat Lam told the club’s official website.

“It’s not just his personal performances, it’s the leadership role he plays and the clarity he brings to everybody on and off the field.

“We have excellent young players that are growing and learning what being a professional rugby player is from players like Siale, so to keep him for another season is massive.”

Fiji's Semi Radradra signs with Bristol

The 27-year-old, who switched codes from rugby league in 2017, started all four of Fiji's pool matches at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, wreaking havoc in their tournament opener against Australia and scoring two tries in the win over Georgia.

"There is no doubt that Semi is one of the best players in the world, he's truly a world class performer and we are so excited about what he can do for the team," Bristol Director of Rugby Pat Lam said in a statement.

Bristol to sign Tonga front row Sione Faletau and Edinburgh's Jack Cosgrove

Front row Faletau, 28, has three caps for his country and will join Mark Tainton's side from Yorkshire Carnegie.

Fellow prop Cosgrove, 22, is a former Scotland Under-20 international who is also eligible to play for England, and will arrive from the Pro 12 club.

"The Championship has some excellent players and Sione is in the prime of his career," said Bristol boss Tainton.

Scandal over pre-match information leak at Steven Luatua's new club

One of the side's players, Luke Arscott, had tactical information about the Sale Sharks' defence revealed to him by his brother Tom, a winger for the Sharks, the night before the two teams faced each other in January. Sale lost 24-23.

Tom Arscott's contract was terminated on January 20 after disciplinary action and Sale triggered an investigation by the Rugby Football Union.

Luatua's move to Bristol in the British summer for next season was announced on Tuesday.

Luatua heading to Bristol

RNZ reports the 25-year-old Blues player is expected to leave after the Super Rugby season.

Luatua has played 15 Tests for the All Blacks, debuting in 2013 and playing his most recent game against Italy on the 2016 end-of-year tour.

He will link up with his former Blues coach Pat Lam at Bristol.

"The signing of Steven - beating off competition from a number of high profile clubs - underlines the ambition of Bristol as well as Stephen Lansdown and the board's desire to drive us forward," head coach Mark Tainton told website

Tonga's rugby captain signs with Bristol

The centre - who has twenty-four test caps to his name - has agreed to the switch from Japanese club Yamaha Jubilo and the Bristol club website says he will arrive in January.

Piutau previously represented Wasps in the Aviva Premiership, alongside his younger brother and former All Black, Charles.

Bristol coach Mark Tainton said Piutau is a big presence in the midfield who carries hard and is a reliable defender.