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.
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.”