• News
Bristol bisons stood in front of First West of England’s “LOVE WINS” Pride bus.
  • First Bus has become new sponsors of the South West’s first inclusive and queer friendly rugby team – Bristol Bisons RFC
  • Founded in 2005, the Bristol Bisons provide a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to play rugby, and currently have more than 70 players from across the South West

Bristol Bisons RFC, the South West’s first all-inclusive and queer friendly rugby team, has found a new sponsor in First Bus in the West of England.

Announced today at the Bristol Bisons home ground of Clifton RFC, the sponsorship will include seeing the First Bus logo appear on the teams’ brand-new kit from April 2023, plus free bus travel passes to support members being able to get to training and matches.

The new sponsorship will last until at least the end of the 2024/25 rugby season.

Speaking of her excitement around the sponsorship, Sarah Wallbridge, Head of Marketing at First West of England, said: 

“The Bristol Bisons represents something so much bigger than rugby, and that is shown through their story, history, and diversity as a team. 

“Here at First Bus, inclusivity and support for communities is a key part of our daily work and everything we believe in, so sponsoring a team like the Bisons makes complete sense. We can’t wait to cheer on the team from the sidelines for the rest of this season and see the brand-new kit – with our logo on it – in April.”

Bristol Bisons Chairperson, Jamie White, said:

“We’re delighted that First Bus has agreed to come on board and sponsor us for at least the next two years. The support First Bus provide for all groups – including the LGBTQIA+ community – is truly stand-out, and we’re very excited to have their logo across our channels.

“As an amateur and volunteer led rugby team, we rely on the generous support of others to exist as a club and continue to provide a safe space for anyone wanting to meet new people, make new friends and learn a fantastic new skill in rugby.

“In 2023, the Bisons will be celebrating our 18th birthday, and this new sponsorship will truly help us ahead of our 20th anniversary in 2025. We’ve started the season strong and currently top the IGR Southern Development League, and this news will give us an even bigger boost to make sure we end the season top of table.”

For more information on the Bristol Bisons RFC, including how you can join the team, visit @bisonsrfc on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or email

To find out more about the partnership with First Bus visit


For more information:

Notes to Editors

  • Bristol Bisons RFC are part of the IGR (International Gay Rugby) Southern Development League
  • Other teams include Cardiff Lions RFC, Coventry Corsairs RFC, Kings Cross Steelers RFC, London Stags RFC, Plymouth Dolphins RFC, and Reading Renegades RFC
  • Over the past 18 years, the Bisons have grown from a handful of players to a team of over 70 in 2023

About First Bus  

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks. We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience.  

We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.  First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.