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Premiership Rugby

High noon for Bristol Shoguns?

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The multi-millionaire, who has made no secret of his intention to withdraw his financial backing from the west country club, will meet the press at 12 noon on Wednesday, May 14 at the club's Memorial Stadium, amid much speculation over the future of Bristol.

Barring an intervention from England Rugby Ltd, the club are now set to join National Division One, having ended up as candidates for automatic relegation following their dismal 41-21 defeat to London Irish on the final weekend of their Zurich campaign.

But Bristol's very existence as a stand-alone entity could be threatened, with a possible merger with local rivals Bath very much on the agenda after talks between Pearce and Bath owner Andrew Brownsword.

The possibility of the Shoguns shifting themselves to Oxford's Kassam Stadium has also been mooted in recent months, but such a scenario now seems unlikely given that Bristol's box-office appeal will be drastically reduced if they are out of the Premiership.

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