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Bristol Bears are a pro rugby union club currently playing in Premiership Rugby. This is the top tier of rugby union in England. The Bears are officially known as Bristol Rugby Club or Bristol Rugby. They were originally formed as Bristol Football Club well over 100 years ago in 1888. The club changed its name to Bristol Shoguns from 2001-2005 in line with its sponsorship deal with Mitsubushi. They rebranded to Bristol Bears in 2018.
The rugby club played their home matches at the Memorial Ground between 1921 and 2014. In 2014 they moved to Ashton Gate Stadium, which is located in the south-west of Bristol. The stadium is shared with Bristol City and has an all-seated capacity of 27,000.
Bristol’s biggest achievement to date is winning the European Challenge Cup in 2019-2020. They have also won the John Player Cup in 1983 and England’s second division on four occasions. The most recent was in 2017-2018. Following the win in 2017-2018, Bristol gained promotion to the Premiership and re-branded. They also announced a number of exciting signings including two All Black stars – Charles Piutau and John Afoa. Bristol finished 9th in the Premiership in 2018-2019.
The Bears made more signings in preparation for the 2019-2020 season. This helped them to achieve their best season to date, coming 3rd in the Gallagher Premiership and winning the European Challange Cup, beating Toulon in the final.