The RFU’s decision to scrap relegation in the Gallagher Premiership this season has been met with support from figures across the game.

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The league will be expanded next season to 13 teams with one team from the Greene King IPA Championship being promoted. This is a result of the disruption Covid-19 has caused to clubs across England, particularly with regards to cancellations, which has seen this weekend’s fixture between Northampton Saints and Newcastle Falcons cancelled.

A RFU statement said: “Council members considered the impact Covid-19 has had on all areas of the game, including the earlier decision to suspend promotion and relegation in the community game and the Gallagher Premiership cancelling a significant number of matches in the 2020/21 season. These cancellations have resulted in a material impact on league positions which could mean relegation based on cancellation not on field merit.”

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This decision has raised a variety of responses online, and though there is inevitably some disagreement, many see this as a logical response to the pandemic.

This support seems to be on the provision that this is only a short term course of action rather than a precursor to permanently ring-fencing the Premiership. Such a decision is likely to evoke a far more vociferous reaction, and remains one of the most polarising topics in English rugby.
Saracens have frequently been mentioned online since the news was announced alongside an apparent agenda to ensure they return to the top tier next season.

The five-time Premiership winners will still need to overcome the hurdle of winning the upcoming Championship season to claim promotion, and it would be equally unfair to deprive any winners of the second division the chance of being promoted.

On a lighter note, bottom place Gloucester fans are jubilant the Cherry and Whites are avoiding the drop this season. Despite being at the foot of the table, Gloucester are only one point behind Worcester Warriors and three points behind Bath with eight games played, so there is plenty of time for them to turn their season around.

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The truncated Championship season will start on the weekend of March 6th.

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