Crossword Genius

Flexible state embraced by company where best players appear? (5,4)


I believe the answer is:

first team

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'where best players appear?' is the definition.
Although both the answer and definition are singular nouns, I cannot understand how they can define each other.

'flexible state embraced by company' is the wordplay.
'flexible' indicates anagramming the letters (the word is bent into a new form).
'embraced by' indicates putting letters inside.
'company' becomes 'firm' (firm can mean a company or business).
'state' is an anagram of 'sttea'.
'sttea' placed within 'firm' is 'FIRST TEAM'.

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I've seen this clue in The Irish Times.
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