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Bristol Rugby in the first leg of Championship play-off semi-finals

Bristol Rugby start their final push for promotion with their Championship play-off semi-finals tomorrow.

Bristol finished top of the table after only losing one match all season and now face a two-legged semi final against Rotherham, starting at Ashton Gate.

Andy Robinson Director of Rugby at Bristol says the team still needs to perform well over the next few weeks.

Bristol Rugby's head coach signs new deal

Sean Holley has become highly regarded among the supporters and players Credit: ITV News

Bristol Rugby's head coach, who joined in the summer of 2013, has signed a new deal.

Sean Holley has become highly regarded among the supporters and players, as the team prepares for to fight for promotion to the Aviva Premiership.

They currently top the IPA Greene King Championship and Holley believes promotion is there for the taking:

We’ve come a long way in the two seasons I’ve been here so far. I feel we’re on a journey and we have unfinished business here. When I arrived here, I talked about my ambition to coach Bristol in the top flight. That hasn’t changed. You’re always flattered by interest from other clubs but I’m genuinely excited about what we have to look forward to at Bristol Rugby.

– Sean Holley


Ovens signs new contract with Bristol Rugby

Josh Ovens pictured playing for his previous club Bath Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Bristol Rugby have extended their contract with Josh Ovens. The flanker's been given a new one-year deal after an impressive performance in the 2014/15 season.

Ovens made nine appearances for the first team this season, scoring three times. He originally joined Bristol at the beginning of the 2011/12 campaign from Bath on a season-long loan, making 21 appearances in his first season in the blue and white hoops.

RUGBY: Home wins for Bath and Bristol

Tonight's results Credit: ITV News

Both Bath and Bristol have been in action tonight - with Bath recording their first Premiership victory for almost two months after beating Sale at the Rec 12 - 3.

It puts them second in the table behind Northampton.

Full-back Tom Homer kicked four penalties to halt Bath's worrying Premiership losing run Credit: PA

In the Championship, Bristol secured a resounding win over Nottingham at Ashton Gate, beating the visitors 51 - 17 and earning themselves a bonus point.

Gavin Henson joins Bristol Rugby after early release from Bath

Gavin Henson has been given early release from Bath Rugby. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive

Gavin Henson has joined Championship leaders Bristol Rugby today after an agreeing an early release from their local rivals, Bath.

The former Wales international will be eligible to play during the 2014/2015 Championship season.

He will step into a Championship side which could well rejoin the Aviva Premiership at the end of this season if they maintain their run of form.

We thank Bath for their co-operation in this matter and agreeing to Gavin’s early release. Once he has integrated into our squad, Gavin will be considered for selection and we look forward to seeing him in a Bristol jersey in the near future.

– Andy Robinson, Director of Rugby

The 33-year-old has played in several top European backlines at Saracens, Toulon, Ospreys and Wales. He also featured in the 2005 British & Irish Lions Tour.

However he will also be remembered for several controversies which have seen spells at certain clubs come to an abrupt end. While playing in France he was suspended after a nightclub alteration. Bristol say his all-round ability and experience at the highest levels of the sport will be a good fit for the team.

Bristol is a well-run club with great facilities and a clear ambition for the future. I’m keen to play my part in that vision. I want to play rugby and focus on my game. The incentive for me is to show a positive attitude in a Bristol shirt and keep working hard on my performances.

– Gavin Henson


Bristol Rugby sign Wasps' star Tom Varndell

Wasps' player Tom Varndell will be touching down for Bristol Credit: Nigel French/PA Wire

Bristol Rugby have agreed a two-year deal with London Wasps for winger Tom Varndell. An England international with four caps to his name, Varndell has made 125 appearances for Wasps, racking up 350 points.

Varndell will join Bristol for the 2015/16 season. It marks a return to the city for the 29 year-old who went to school at Colston's Collegiate in Stapleton.

“Bristol is a proud rugby city with a loyal fanbase. It’s a great time to join and I look forward to the next chapter of my career.

“I have had a fantastic time at London Wasps and I thank the coaches, my team-mates and the supporters for making me so welcome for the past six years."

– Tom Varndell

More details here

Bristol Rugby welcome Tommaso Benvenuti

Tommaso Benvenuti will play for Bristol. Credit: PA

Bristol Rugby have signed Italian international player Tommaso Benvenuti.

The 24-year-old has penned an 18-month deal. He can play centre, wing or fullback.

Benvenuti represented his native Italy in the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the RBS Six Nations. He made 49 appearances for Treviso before moving to Perpignan in the summer of 2013.

Tommaso is a talented young player who is capable of performing consistently at the very highest level

– Andy Robinson, Director of Rugby

I’m excited to take on this new challenge with Bristol Rugby. It’s a great club that is building for the future. I’ve visited Ashton Gate before joining and seen the plans for the new stadium– it really appealed to me.

I’m looking forward to linking up with my new team-mates and helping Bristol push for promotion.

– Tommaso Benvenuti
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