Liam Middleton backs Bristol Rugby's potential Ashton Gate move
LIAM Middleton has backed Bristol Rugby’s potential move to Ashton Gate – and believes the high-specification Desso GrassMaster pitch will suit the style of rugby his team likes to play.
Bristol today confirmed they will move in with Bristol City – either at a new base at Ashton Vale or a revamped Ashton Gate – and if they end up at the Gate it could be as early as the season after next.
That is when Bristol’s contract to rent the Memorial Stadium from Bristol Rovers expires, while Rovers have sold their stadium and are set to move to a new site at Stoke Gifford.
Bristol head coach Middleton is enthused by the prospect of moving to a new-look, 26,000-capacity Ashton Gate – and is sure the pitch, which combines natural grass with artificial fibres, will benefit his team.
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“We knew that we would be at the Mem next season – but there was always the question of where we would go from there,” said Middleton. “Seasons go so quickly – the season just flies past – and, before we know it, it will be this time next season and we’ll be looking at moving on to the next stadium.
“I think it’s exciting. When you look at the plans for a 26,000-seater stadium, it’s fantastic, as is a Desso pitch. That will produce a very fast track, which suits the way we want to play the game.
“We’re pretty excited about it but there’s obviously a lot of rugby to be played before then.”
Bristol travel to Moseley in the Championship this Saturday (3pm) having fallen out of the all-important top four when Leeds beat Plymouth to move two points above Middleton’s side.