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Quartet commit future to the Lions

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

We’re pleased to announce Avery Smiles-Tyson, Austin Beckett, Will Aylen & Pelo Kgatlhanye have all committed to the Lions for the 2023 season.

They all form vital stalwarts of Director of Rugby, Mark Francis' squad ahead of the 2023 campaign kicking off on the 8th April at the Melrose 7s, the birthplace of the sport.

Avery joined the club in pre-season back in April 2022, initially starting as a winger then transitioning to prop seamlessly, going from strength to strength and playing a big part in our season in 2022 - amassing 9 tournament appearances in total.

Austin first played in Lions colours at the 2021 Dubai 7s, playing a key role in our semi-final. An instrumental member of the 2022 squad, Austin has made 6 appearances last season and is part of the leadership team, as Vice-captain.

Will joined the Lions half way through the season, first appearing at the Stafford leg of the Super Sevens Series, after unfortunately sustaining a nasty injury at Aldershot. He made his return with the title winning squad at the British Airways Grenada Rugby World 7s in December.

Pelo, like Will, joined us slightly after the season begun and was part of the first wave of Cardiff University talent alongside Greg Ramage – that continued to support both the Lions and Lionesses through the rest of the season. He played 4 tournaments for the Lions, scoring 7 tries. The South African gasman is one to watch in 2023!

Director of Rugby Mark Francis said, “How do you help top talent realise their ambitions? We (Will, Avery, Austin and Pelo and many more) started the New Year early by sharing a compelling, Lion-hearted vision …”

All players are available to sponsor for the 2023 season.

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