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RFU 'consulting' on new comp involving Prem XVs and Championship sides

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Getty Images)

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The RFU are looking at the viability of a new club competition that would see “Premiership XVs” sides pitted against Championship sides.

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The competition, which is designed to develop and create additional revenue for England’s second flight competition while providing an outlet for Premiership fringe players, would take place in season 23/24.

The RFU is now looking at the viability of the competition, a process that will take several months.

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A statement from the union reads: “The RFU Council today agreed that further consultation on proposals to help support Championship clubs could be undertaken in the coming months to consider the viability of an additional cup competition between Premiership XVs and Championship clubs running alongside a 12 team Championship league in the 23/24 season.”

“The cup concept will provide additional player development opportunities to strengthen the professional player infrastructure, it will provide progression opportunities for clubs that want them and additional commercial and marketing opportunities for clubs.”

“The Championship Strategic Review group was set up following RFU Council approval of a Covid recovery plan in June 21. The review includes three sub-groups looking at the strategic direction of the Championship, the commercial realities and the competition structure. Each group includes wide representation from across the game including Championship and Premiership clubs, Council members, PRL and RFU representatives along with external advisors.

“The three subgroups have been consulting widely with all levels of the game to provide the RFU Council with proposals to be further explored.”

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“Throughout the consultation the RFU has and will continue to be open to all ideas and considerations from all stakeholders, looking at ways to make the Championship financially sustainable.”

Rugby Football Union (RFU) President His Honour Jeff Blackett said: “The Championship is an important part of the rugby eco system in England and we all want to support the league to enable it to become more sustainable. This proposal is designed to do that and therefore, the RFU Council agrees the opportunity should be further explored. The RFU Council, which represents clubs across the country, will still be required to approve any potential new cup competition should progress be made.”

The rest of the 2021/22 season will be used by the review group to develop the additional cup proposal which would go to Council for approval in June 2022 at the earliest.

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