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Bristol Ladies Rugby – Sunday, January 18th Venue Change

It is with great disappointment that we have been forced to change the venue of the Bristol Ladies Rugby fixture this Sunday, January 18th.

When this fixture was originally announced as a doubleheader after the men’s rugby game, we had four fixtures at Ashton Gate for the month of January. Due to sporting success in football and rugby we are still involved in three cup competitions (Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, FA Cup and the B&I Cup). This has led to a congested fixture list and seen our games at Ashton Gate double.

After consultation with Bristol Rugby and Bristol Ladies Rugby we have secured Cleve RFC as the alternative venue for the Ladies’ game (KO 2pm). The men’s game will go ahead as scheduled at Ashton Gate.

Cleve RFC are longstanding supporters of Bristol Ladies Rugby.  They have hosted many Bristol Ladies’ games previously and were the first central club of the Bristol Rugby Foundation’s Eagle Project to develop girls rugby.

Bristol Sport CEO Andrew Billingham said: “As all of you will know January is the most difficult month from a pitch maintenance point of view.  To have double the amount of anticipated fixtures in the darkest month of the year makes the job of our groundstaff doubly difficult.  It is further compounded by the severe weather warnings that are in place for this week, so we have to take steps to protect the new pitch as much as possible.

“The £1.2m Desso Grassmaster pitch has given us a fantastic playing surface this season. While the new pitch has looked perfect to date, we are on a learning curve in terms of maintenance and would be failing in our responsibility if we didn’t take every possible step to ensure that it is in the best condition for the busy period to come.

“When we made the decision to stage the doubleheader it was made out of an ongoing commitment and desire to bring women’s sport to Ashton Gate. We have proven this commitment with Bristol Academy Women and their Champions League games. Sadly due to the circumstances that we find ourselves in, it is not possible for the Bristol Ladies Rugby fixture to go ahead.

“Bristol Sport has a long-term commitment to Bristol Ladies Rugby and will be rescheduling the doubleheader to the start of next season. There will be many more opportunities for ladies rugby to be played at the new Ashton Gate.”

Bristol Ladies Rugby chairwoman Heidi Chapman-Mercer added: “Whilst we are really disappointed about the venue change we understand the reason for the decision and look forward to playing at Ashton Gate at the start of next season.

“We are part of the Bristol Sport family and as such are here for the long term. The fact that so much work has gone on behind the scenes to try and make this happen underlines Bristol Sport’s commitment to us. It is a huge shame it wasn’t possible this time but I look forward to Bristol Ladies Rugby being welcomed at Ashton Gate next season.”

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience of the schedule change. Please contact Supporter Services on supporterservices@bristol-sport.co.uk or 0117 963 0600 to amend your ticket if you wish to do so.

Note: The Bristol Rugby men’s fixture against Yorkshire Carnegie remains unchanged at Ashton Gate.

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