It’s fol­low the Bears for Bris­tol sup­port­ers

Western Mail - - SPORT -

BRIS­TOL Rugby will be re­named Bris­tol Bears ahead of their re­turn to the Aviva Premier­ship next sea­son.

The Cham­pi­onship win­ners were named the Shoguns from 2001 to 2005 due to a spon­sor­ship deal with Mit­subishi, and have now opted for an­other ti­tle switch.

Owner Steve Lans­down in­sisted the new name will help Bris­tol tar­get a “global au­di­ence”.

“This is an ex­cit­ing and ma­jor com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing the fu­ture suc­cess of the club,” said Lans­down.

“In or­der to suc­ceed in our mis­sion to in­spire our com­mu­nity through rugby suc­cess, we must make bold changes to en­sure we are pre­pared for the de­mands of this highly com­pet­i­tive, dy­namic en­vi­ron­ment.

“We have to be pre­pared to break the mould and be re­lent­less in driv­ing the pro­gres­sion of this rugby club. In a chal­leng­ing mar­ket, in or­der to at­tract in­vest­ment and new au­di­ences, we must be brave in our vi­sion.

“The de­vel­op­ment of the brand ex­pands our ap­peal to a global au­di­ence at a time when the ap­petite for pro­fes­sional rugby is grow­ing in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

“We recog­nise that there is a his­tory and tra­di­tion as­so­ci­ated with all sports clubs and we are con­scious and proud of the loy­alty, bond and pas­sion so many share for Bris­tol Rugby.

“We hope that all sup­port­ers will em­brace the changes.”

■ New­cas­tle have signed for­mer Bris­tol, Worces­ter and Sale winger Tom Arscott.

Arscott, 30, has scored 29 Premier­ship tries in 104 games and will move to Kingston Park from French club Rouen ahead of next sea­son.

“It’s a league I al­ways wanted to re­turn to, and I feel I have some­thing to of­fer New­cas­tle,” he said.

Arscott had his con­tract at Sale ter­mi­nated in Jan­uary 2017 when he was found guilty of pass­ing on team in­for­ma­tion be­fore a game with Bris­tol.

He met with his older brother Luke, who was play­ing for Bris­tol, at their team ho­tel the night be­fore their Premier­ship match at Sale, which Bris­tol nar­rowly won.

A sub­se­quent Rugby Foot­ball Union (RFU) in­ves­ti­ga­tion found him guilty and handed him a writ­ten warn­ing. It con­cluded Bris­tol were aware of some of Sale’s de­fen­sive tac­tics, but there was “no ev­i­dence to demon­strate” a change in strat­egy.

“With the way things were left at Sale, I was des­per­ate to get the op­por­tu­nity come back to the Premier­ship and prove my­self a lit­tle bit,” Arscott added.

“Thank­fully Dean Richards has given me that chance.”

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