It’s follow the Bears for Bristol supporters
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.”