The Rugby Football League can confirm that Oxford Rugby League and the University of Gloucestershire All Golds have joined forces to create an exciting new Rugby League club based in the city of Bristol. The new club will replace the current clubs and aims to be part of the League 1 competition for the 2019 season.
Following a meeting in London earlier this month, the Rugby Football League Board accepted a proposal put forward by both clubs that they would not compete in the 2018 competition and would instead spend 2018 focusing their efforts on the creation of a strong Bristol Rugby League development project to take their place in the competition from 2019.
The Rugby Football League has been in discussion with both clubs and potential investors in the Bristol area for a number of months and the Board has indicated that there will be room left available in the competition for a new Bristol based club in 2019, but that any bid to participate in the competition would require significant backing and would be subject to Rugby Football League Board approval.
Chief Operating Officer of the Rugby Football League, Ralph Rimmer, said: “The Rugby Football League is clear that there is an expectation on all clubs in the professional game to offer a clear strategy that demonstrates their plans to help grow and strengthen the sport in future years.
“Oxford and Gloucester have come to the conclusion that the best way for them to now move forward is by creating a new club in Bristol that is backed by significant support and investment. The Rugby Football League Board has accepted this and is looking forward to seeing further detailed plans for the new club in due course. Rugby League will continue to have a presence in both Oxford and Gloucester with community clubs and foundations remaining in place.”
The League 1 fixture list is due to be published in November and will consist of 14 clubs playing each other home and away.