The Bristol Bisons RFC (Bisons) were established in 2005, following a visit to the Bingham Cup gay rugby tournament in the summer of 2004 in London. The founders felt that it would be good to spread the messages of an inclusive gay rugby team in the South west.
Training for the newly formed club started early in 2005. One of the first matches was the Bisons versus a Barbarians side of players from Manchester and Bristol. By 2009 the club had gone through a quiet spell so it was decided to relaunch the club with new kit and promotional material in December 2009.
As part of Bristol Pride 2010 the club promoted itself more visibly particularly on the Bristol gay scene. During season 2010/2011 the team grew in strength and numbers and now has around 30 regular and occasional players. In 2011, the team took part in Bristol Pride and Swindon Pride. In July 2011, the team were chosen as hosts for the Union Cup 2013 EuropeanGayrugby tournament.
In 2016, the Bristol Bisons moved to Clifton RFC near the Mall in Cribbs Causeway.
In 2017 the Bristol Bisons gained sponsorship from Event Exchange.
In 2019, in anticipation of attending the Union Cup in Dublin, the club had a new logo and kit designed.
The following is a list of tournaments held by or attended by the team.
- 2006 – Spring – Rugby Tournament, Bristol
- 2006 – Rugby 7’s tournament at Bristol Gay Mardi Gras
- 2007 – Spring – Rugby Tournament, Bristol
- 2013 – Union Cup – Rugby Tournament, Bristol
- 2005 Montpellier, France Finished 7th place
- 2007 Copenhagen, Denmark The Bisons were part of a joint team with the Newcastle Ravens and Cardiff Lions that reached the final and lost to the Dublin Emerald Warriors RFC.
- 2009 London, UK 1st in the 7’s after a closely fought final against the Paris team
- 2011 Amsterdam, Netherlands 2nd in the 10s tournament behind Montpellier, France.
- 2013 Bristol, UK Bristol Bisons RFC to Host 2013 Union Cup in Bristol, UK.
- 2016 Madrid, Spain Narrowly lost out on winning the Silver Union Bowl. – Bisons finished 3rd from bottom in Europe rankings.
- 2019 Dublin, Ireland Bisons attended the Union Cup in Dublin and lost in the final to Kings Cross Steelers 3rds. – Bisons finished 10th over all in Europe rankings