The Rugby Football Union has confirmed that the 2020/21 season of the Championship will kick off from 6th March.
The pandemic coronavirus had led to suspension of all the competitions below the tier two with the second tier competition originally scheduled for January this year but the rise of the new Covid-19 variant in the country has postponed the start to March.
With London Scottish pulling out of the tournament after declining government loan, the 11-team competition will see each side facing the other 10 teams with the top two locking horns in the final. The winner of the two-legged final will be promoted to the Premiership ahead of the 2021/22 season.
"Following loan assurances from Government as part of the Winter Sports Survival Package, 11 Greene King IPA Championship Clubs have elected to invest in Covid testing under the elite sport guidance framework to allow a start to the season on the weekend of 6 March 2021," an RFU statement said.
"Operating under the elite sport framework, teams will play each other home or away producing 10 competitive matches over 11 league rounds.
"This will be followed by a two-leg play-off final (home and away) between the top two placed teams in the league to determine which will earn promotion to Gallagher Premiership Rugby for the 2021/22 season provided it meets the current minimum standards criteria."