Bristol Rugby will return to the Aviva Premiership next season under a new name as Bristol Bears, the club announced on Monday.
The news comes shortly after the club's promotion back to the English top flight was confirmed on April 7 with three rounds still to play.
Discussing the decision in a press release, Bristol owner Steve Lansdown revealed the process of rebranding the club had been planned for some time.
"The rebranding is not a knee-jerk decision – it’s a process that we have been exploring for a number of years and everybody involved has worked tirelessly to deliver a strategy that we trust and believe will result in success," Lansdown said. "Since the turn of the professional era, we have seen supporters migrate to more successful, local competitors, homegrown talent move away and Bristol fall behind, both commercially and on the field.
"I’m tired of hearing about Bristol’s status as a ‘sleeping giant’. Now, we want to see the club realise its fantastic potential in one of the UK’s most dynamic cities.
"Our return to the Premiership, coupled with a clear vision of success and world class facilities at Ashton Gate and the new training ground, signals a perfect opportunity to reshape our future."
More to follow...