Championship sides to feature in Premiership Rugby Cup next season

The competition will involve 24 teams
The competition will involve 24 teams

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed that the clubs from the Championship will be competing in the Premiership Rugby Cup next season.

The competition will now involve 24 teams which will be divided into four pools of six involving five group matches followed by semi-finals and a final. The groups will be decided by the standings of the teams at the end of the 2022/23 season.

The pool stages will take place over five consecutive weekends from the weekends of 8-10 September to 6-8 October with the semi-finals held over 9-11 February and the final over the weekend of 15-17 March.

The news follows after Championship sides were finding difficulty with the level of funding from the board and also the criteria laid for promotion to the top tier competition. Ealing were deemed ineligible to gain promotion to the Premiership because their home ground did not meet the minimum capacity needed for the promotion.

Premiership Rugby’s Rugby Director is excited by the prospect of clashes between Premiership and Championship clubs.

“It is many years since the Premiership and Championship Clubs clashed in a Cup competition. The Championship performs a crucial role within the English game and we’re looking forward to renewing some rivalries of old.

"With the Rugby World Cup taking place in France, this competition will no doubt provide the best, young English talent with an opportunity to stake a claim in squads before the start of the Gallagher Premiership campaign.”