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'My nails are all bitten away!' Fans react to Bristol's dramatic promotion

Fans couldn't contain their excitement Credit: ITV West Country

Many Bristol Rugby fans will be nursing sore heads today as they celebrate their team's promotion.

A nail biting second half saw a flurry of tries and a very close score line, but Bristol came out triumphant in the end.

Our sports correspondent Matthias Kurth caught up with a few after the match:

Bristol Rugby secure promotion despite defeat on home turf

Bristol Rugby have won promotion and reached the Premiership after 7 years of trying.

They carried a 15 lead into this evening's Championship playoff final second leg against Doncaster at Ashton Gate.

Bristol Rugby win a line out during the GKIPA Championship final, second leg at Ashton Gate, Bristol. Credit: PA

A late first half try from Will Cliff extended that lead. A flurry of Doncaster tries after the break, saw the visitors win 32-34 on the night but it's a Bristol win by 17 points on aggregate.

Man of the match was Callum Sheedy.

Watch the winning moment:


Scrum half signs new contract with Plymouth Albion

Top scorer Matt Shepherd has become the fourth player from last season's squad to re-sign at Plymouth Albion.

Shepherd, who joined Albion last summer from the Cornish All Blacks, played in all 30 leagues games last season and finished with 188 points, a haul that included 13 tries.

The 26-year-old, who stands 5’ 9", took up the roles of scrum half, wing and full back.

Matt Shepherd with Albion official Nigel Sparrow Credit: Plymouth Albion

I’m pleased to sign a new contract and excited about pulling on an Albion shirt again.

A few of us from last season have signed new contracts and I hope we can keep the bulk of the squad together.

With the addition of some new faces we will have the ability to push on from last season. I know some of the other teams have recruited well but my aim is to get Albion promoted back to the Championship.

– Matt Shepherd

Shepherd is also a crucial member of the Cornwall team and on Sunday will be running out at Twickenham against Cheshire in the final of the County Championship.


Two quick tries put Chiefs ahead at half time

Two tries from Thomas Waldrom have put Exeter Chiefs ahead in their quarter final match against Wasps going into half time.

It's crunch time as Exeter Chiefs gear up for quarter final

Exeter Chiefs take on premiership side Wasps Credit: ITV West Country

Thousands of Exeter Chiefs fans will be among the crowd in Coventry for the quarter final of the European Champions Cup.

It's the highest profile game the club has ever been involved in as they play fellow Premiership side Wasps at the stadium they share with Coventry City Football Club.

We're at the ground ready for the match, here's what the fans had to say before the crunch tie:

Club hopes for more female rugby players

Lily Partridge Credit: Family

A women's rugby club in Exeter held open training sessions today (March 20th) to encourage more girls to take up the sport.

The event at Topsham Rugby Club was held in memory of Lily Partridge who died last year.

The 23-year-old zookeeper, who was from Topsham, collapsed after sustaining the injury in a training match. She was flown to hospital but died.

ITV's Claire Manning went along to the training session earlier.

Cornish Pirates prepare to face 'nemesis'

Cornish Pirates training ahead of the big game. Credit: ITV West Country

Cornish Pirates have been training hard ahead of their big challenge on Sunday.

They face Doncaster in the British and Irish Cup Quarter Final at the Mennaye. Doncaster have won both league games against the Pirates this season, and Director of Rugby Ian Davies says it's going to be a tough one.

"They're our nemesis at the moment. Hopefully that changes on Sunday.

"They're a gnarly old side; they know how to play the game, how to slow it down, how to play at their tempo, and we've got to try and negate that and play our own style."

– Director of Rugby Ian Davies
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