Championship sides Doncaster Knights and Ealing Trailfinders have been deemed ineligible for promotion to Premiership ahead of the 2022/23 season after they failed to meet minimum standards.
The decision meant Premiership will continue to be a 13-team competition next season but the winner of National One will gain promotion to the second tier Championship tournament.
Ealing Trailfinders and Doncaster Knights were the only teams to apply for promotion to the top tier but an audit conducted revealed that both the clubs did not have the minimum capacity requirement in their respective home grounds which is at least 10,001.
Currently both the clubs can hold a holding capacity of 5,000 spectators each.
“As a result, the independent audit has found that neither club has successfully met the minimum standards criteria based on capacity (as well as other factors),” read an RFU statement.
“The PGB (professional game board) therefore made a recommendation to RFU board that neither club could be promoted to the Premiership for the 22-23 season. The RFU board has ratified this decision.”
Both the clubs are entitled to appeal against the decision.
Doncaster currently are at the top of the Championship table with 67 points followed by Cornish Pirates and Ealing Trailfinders at the second and third places respectively.