Rugby League: Super idea

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The Independent Online
Bristol City's Ashton Gate ground could become home to a rugby Super League team within four years. Rugby league chiefs have already held talks with football club officials about staging games at the ground next summer, which would be a forerunner to setting up a fully fledged Super League club.

Chris Caisley, the chairman of the Rugby League (Europe) Ltd, which represents English Super League clubs, said: "Bristol is already a hot-bed of rugby at the moment. "It would be a prime area to look at in determining where to place Super League clubs in the United Kingdom and I certainly think there could be a Super League team there within four years."

Bristol City's chairman, Scott Davidson, responded by admitting that the idea of setting up a Super League club had been considered. He said: "We have already held talks with people who have indicated they are willing to promote a league road show some time next year. We are open to ideas. We've got a tremendous stadium and it's not used as much as it should be."

Ashton Gate has a capacity of 22,000. The fact that Super League has a summer schedule would mean that any new club would not have to compete with any of City, Bristol Rovers or Bristol rugby club for attendances. The only note of caution would be the fate of the South Wales club, who have pulled out of the league after being refused entrance to Super League and being offered only a place in the First Division.

Caisley is now due to meet Rugby League chief executive Maurice Lindsay to discuss staging one or two Super League fixtures in Bristol, possibly involving Bradford Bulls.