London Welsh promoted back up to Premiership

London Welsh secured promotion back to the Aviva Premiership after they beat Bristol Rugby 48-28 on aggregate at the Memorial Stadium.

London Welsh played in the Premiership in the 2012/13 season but finished last so they were relegated to championship this season.

Bristol were the favourites for promotion and had already recruited players such as former Wales captain Ryan Jones.

However London Welsh took a 19 point lead from the first of two Championship final matches and London Welsh beat Bristol 20-21 in the second final.

Andy Short, Mitch Eadie and Adam Hughes scored tries for Bristol but two late tries from Carl Kirwan and Seb Staggmann secured London Welsh’s return.

Bristol and London Welsh both won 19 matches this season but Bristol also scored 8 bonus points which put them eight points clear in the standings.

Effectively even though London Welsh finished the season as runners up in the Championship they will return to the Premiership next season.

The result means that Bristol will now compete for a sixth consecutive season in the Championship after they were relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 2008/9 season.

“I thought our performance tonight was truly outstanding. It just shows the character of the side,” Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson told the BBC.

“Unfortunately, we were chasing too much and we still left a lot of points out there. We didn’t take those opportunities, and we have got to look at that for next year.

“It is disappointing for everybody, but that is the nature of the qualification process. We have got to set our sights on our ability to beat Worcester.”

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell said, “Bristol are a good side, and I feel a bit for Andy Robinson.

“I don’t think they took us for granted, but I think it showed today that you can have one philosophy, but if you don’t kick the points it’s disappointing.

“But they are a fantastic club, and no doubt they will be pushing for promotion next season, too. However, they will have another big-spending side, in Worcester, to compete against.”

Final Score Bristol (8) 20 London Welsh (6) 21

Scorers

Bristol
Tries: Short, Eadie, Hughes
Pen: Robinson
Con: Jarvis

London Welsh
Tries: Kirwan, Stegmann
Pens: Ross 2
Con: Ross
Drop goal: Ross

Teams

Bristol: Wallace; Amesbury, Tovey, Mosses, Short; Robinson, Tipuna (capt); Traynor, Johnston, Cortes, Glynn, Townson, Koster, Mama, Eadie.

Replacements: Lawrence, Hall, Hobson, Skirving, Grindal, Jarvis, Hughes.

London Welsh: Awcock, Stegmann, May (capt), Jewell, Scott, Ross, Cook, Trevett, Morris, Edwards, Spencer, Corker, Lees, Kirwan, Thorpe.

Replacements: Vella, Bristow, Tideswell, West, Stedman, Lewis, Crane.

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