17 Dec 2008

Blowers returning home

6:00 am on 17 December 2008

The Bristol flanker Andrew Blowers will return home to New Zealand in January for personal reasons.

He'll leave his English rugby club five-and-a-half months before his deal expires as one of his children has struggled to settle in the UK, and the club has agreed to his request for an early release from his deal.

33-year-old Blowers, who won 18 caps for New Zealand, spent five seasons in English rugby with Northampton before joining Bristol in February 2007.

He made 18 appearances in the 2006-07 season when Bristol came third in the table to secure their best-ever finish in the Premiership and reach the play-offs.

But with Bristol struggling this season, Blowers has not played since the 27-nil defeat at Llanelli in October.