It has been a season of endless controversy for Bristol Rugby. They sacked former England head coach Andy Robinson in November because of a dreadful start to their season in England’s top tier.
Unfortunately for the Ashton Gate faithful, Robinson’s removal didn’t exactly result in an upturn in fortunes for the club.
Bristol have only recorded three wins so far in the Aviva Premiership and with only two games remaining, one of which is away to the formidable Saracens – they could easily finish off the whole season without recording any more victories.
There are some aspects to Bristol to which fans should be pleased about. There is a serious appetite for rugby union in the city and some of their attendances this season have certainly reflected that.
In addition to this, they have Pat Lam coming in as their head coach who achieved miracles with Connacht when he guided them to the PRO12 title last season.
Lam has also signed Irish international fly-half Ian Madigan which will certainly add to the quality of the Bristol squad.
However, it could still be possible that Bristol remains in the Premiership next season, despite their guaranteed rock-bottom position.
The four teams who are vying it out for promotion from the Championship are London Irish, Yorkshire Carnegie, Doncaster Knights and Ealing Trailfinders.
However, according to The Guardian, Bristol won’t be relegated if either Doncaster Knights or Ealing Trailfinders emerge victorious from the playoffs.
This is because they don’t want to be promoted to the top tier due to the financial risks associated with competing at the highest level in England.
Both sides did not put themselves through the Premiership’s entry criteria process and as a result, will not be promoted regardless if they win the playoffs.