Ring-fencing high on agenda for ‘Premiership 13’

Exeter - who were one of the last teams to make a success of winning promotion and then challenging at the top end of the Premiership - celebrate scoring a penalty try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Sandy Park, Exeter. (Picture: Mark Kerton/PA Wire)
Exeter - who were one of the last teams to make a success of winning promotion and then challenging at the top end of the Premiership - celebrate scoring a penalty try during the Gallagher Premiership match at Sandy Park, Exeter. (Picture: Mark Kerton/PA Wire)
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Premiership Rugby will provide an update to its board next month on promotion and relegation between England’s top flight and the Championship.

League bosses have met with the Rugby Football Union to discuss the issue, and dialogue is continuing.

These crucial discussions are about deciding the most effective structure for the top end of the game in England.

Premiership Rugby

It is understood that England’s leading clubs want a 13-team Gallagher Premiership, scrapping promotion and relegation, with the existing 12 clubs being joined by likely Championship winners London Irish.

Premiership Rugby requires unanimous backing from its 13 shareholder clubs, which includes Irish, for any proposed change to the regulations, and then RFU approval.

“It is the right time to fundamentally rethink the system in this country as we try to secure financial sustainability for the professional game in England at all levels,” said a Premiership Rugby spokesperson.

“These crucial discussions are about deciding the most effective structure for the top end of the game in England. They have to be structured, balanced and create the best long-term solution for English rugby.”

The next board meeting is on April 9, when promotion and relegation will be high on the agenda.

Yorkshire Carnegie will be keen to know the outcome as they seek to get back to the Premiership over the coming years, either as part of ring-fencing or via traditional means of promotion.