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Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 18:38 UK

Bristol confirm move to Newport

Interview: Bristol RFC Chief Executive David White

Bristol have confirmed they will share Newport Gwent Dragons' Rodney Parade ground for the next two seasons while the Memorial Stadium is redeveloped.

BBC Wales understands that the Welsh Rugby Union has approved the idea.

Bristol will play home games at Rodney Parade on Sundays, and will offset the cost of crossing the Severn Bridge by cutting ticket prices by 5 per game.

Fans buying season tickets for matches at Rodney Parade will be given priority when the team return to Bristol.

Bristol's first game at Rodney Parade will be a friendly against Newport RFC on 30 August, while Saturday's game with Worcester should be their last at the Memorial Stadium.


The game will also be a final farewell to several Bristol players including veteran prop and former Scotland international Dave Hilton.

Coach Richard Hill told BBC Radio Bristol that moving to Newport was a logical choice: "I really thought that if there's any ground in Britain that resembles the Memorial Stadium in its current form, it's Rodney Parade.

"The Bristol supporters have been very good to us, even when we went into National One.

"There's some real fanatics there amongst them so it's up to us to promote our games and try to assist them in any way we can to get across to South Wales."

Playing outside the city will cost Bristol between 750,000 and 1.5m per season, BBC Radio Bristol understands.

Interview: Newport Gwent Dragons chief executive Gethin Jenkins

Bristol Rovers' plans for a 36m redevelopment to turn the Memorial Ground into an 18,500 all-seater stadium were approved by Bristol City Council in April.

The new ground will include student flats, a hotel and gym and will be shared between Bristol Rugby and Bristol Rovers Football Club.

Bristol Rovers will play at League One rivals Cheltenham for up to two years while the work is completed.

Rodney Parade is also due to be redeveloped from 2009 onward but the Dragons have been assured they don't need to vacate their ground while the 40m facelift takes place.

see also
Bristol will survive move - Hill
28 Mar 08 |  Bristol
Bristol could make Newport home
21 Mar 08 |  NG Dragons
Rovers get go-ahead for stadium
03 Apr 08 |  Bristol Rovers
Pirates to share with Cheltenham
29 Apr 08 |  Bristol Rovers

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