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Page last updated at 13:47 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

Ex-Bath captain Alex Crockett in training with Bristol

Alex Crockett
Crockett is eligible to play for Bristol from the start of March

Former Bath captain Alex Crockett has returned to the rugby field this week for the first time since being banned, as he trained with new club Bristol.

Crockett, 28, joined Paul Hull's side over a month ago and is eligible to play from 1 March after serving a nine-month ban for missing two drugs tests.

"He has settled in well and all the players have made him feel welcome," head coach Hull told BBC Radio Bristol.

"I think he just wants to get on and let his rugby do the talking."

Crockett is one of three ex-Bath players who were banned by the Rugby Football Union for refusing to take two drugs tests, after the club investigated allegations of drug use at an end-of-season party in May.

The former England Saxons centre, along with fellow co-captain Michael Lipman and winger Andrew Higgins resigned from Bath in June before receiving their ban in August.

Higgins has retired from the sport while former England international Lipman has yet to return to the game.

Hull added: "Alex obviously might be nervous coming to a new club and the circumstances leading to him being in this position.

"He's has been out for a while and just wants to get back into training and the banter that is rugby.

"I think everyone is looking forward to him just playing and putting everything else behind him."

Bristol are currently riding high at the top of the Championship eight points clear of nearest rivals Exeter.

Crockett will be available for competitive action in time for the play-offs which start at the beginning of March.

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see also
Banned Crockett signs for Bristol
04 Dec 09 |  Rugby Union
Drug scandal 'has hit Bath form'
02 Dec 09 |  Bath
Former Bath players lose appeal
10 Sep 09 |  Bath
High-profile Bath trio quit club
02 Jun 09 |  Bath

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