Jubilant Rotherham chief executive Jim Kilfoyle promised his newly-promoted side would be far more competitive in the Zurich Premiership next season than they were during their last visit to the top flight three years ago.

On that occasion, Rotherham were cast adrift at the bottom of the pile, managing only two wins all season and finishing 26 points behind Harlequins.

But it was their first season as a professional outfit and, after two years back in National League One, Kilfoyle and his players are itching to mix it with the big boys once again.

After all, Rotherham could not have been given a more mouth-watering start than an away trip to Gloucester, the side who have topped the Premiership this season.

For Kilfoyle, that prize alone made waiting through the last three anxious and frustrating weeks all worth while.

"We will be competitive," he said. "Last time we went up we moved from a semi-pro side to a professional side.

"We have had three years of professionalism and our squad is far, far stronger and will be stronger still with recruitments.

"Our first match will show us how strong we are because I think our first match is Gloucester away and you can't get better than that."

Meanwhile, Bristol Shoguns chairman Malcolm Pearce is set to outline his plans for the club tomorrow.

However, the possible merger between Bristol and neighbours Bath could be in doubt with a consortium of local businessmen believed to be interested in taking over the relegated club.