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Negotiations Underway For ‘Ring-Fenced’ Premiership [Report]

Gallagher Premiership

Negotiations are underway between the Premiership clubs to potentially bring an end to promotion/relegation in England’s top-tier, according to a report in The Times

The idea of ‘ring-fencing’ the Premiership has been long-mooted but the problem often stemmed from one of the shareholders of Premier Rugby Limited currently plying their trade in the Championship and as a result, would be left out of a new competition format which would see them consigned to England’s second-tier.

However, it is understood that clubs are open to the idea of a 13-team Premiership, an increase of one from the current 12-team format.

The only shareholder which is currently outside of the top-tier is London Irish, who are leading the way in the promotion stakes, four points ahead of second-placed Ealing Trailfinders.

Gallagher Premiership

According to the report, some clubs would be interested in axing relegation to include this season. This doesn’t come as a surprise when you consider that only four points currently separate sixth-placed Bath to 12th-placed Newcastle Falcons.

Adding an extra team would require an extra four weekends but to solve this problem, it is proposed that there would no longer be a Premiership Cup competition which would free up some time in an already congested rugby calendar.

A Premiership spokesperson said: “It’s been on the agenda for 20 years and will always be debated.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter