RFU to reintroduce promotion and relegation between Premiership and Championship

The team ending last in next season's Premiership will be relegated to Championship
The team ending last in next season's Premiership will be relegated to Championship
©Steve Haag

English rugby will reintroduce promotion and relegation between the Premiership and the second-tier Championship through a two-legged playoff, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Friday.

Saracens were relegated in the 2019-20 season after finishing last due to a points deduction, but no teams were relegated in the subsequent two seasons because of COVID-19 recovery measures implemented by the RFU.

Last season, Worcester Warriors and Wasps were automatically relegated after entering administration, and no teams were demoted in the 2023-24 season.

According to the proposals, the Premiership's bottom team would compete against the Championship's winners in a two-legged match, provided the second-tier team meets the Premiership's minimum standards criteria.

"Council approved the mechanism for promotion and relegation which will be a two-match home and away playoff between the bottom placed Premiership club and the winner of the Championship/Tier 2," the RFU said in a statement.

"This continues to allow for promotion and relegation, better provides a mechanism to determine on-field competitiveness and takes into consideration the financial challenges of clubs in both leagues".

The Championship winners, however, will need to meet the minimum standards criteria.

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