Premiership Rugby Reportedly Want To Change The Champions Cup AGAIN
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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership rugby are both in favour of removing relegation and promotion from England’s top flight, but talks are still ongoing as to how many clubs will be retained in the Aviva Premiership.
There are currently 13 Premiership shareholders – the current 12 teams plus Bristol – and a handful of Championship clubs who have the ambition to join the elite tier of English rugby. The clubs apparently do now want to expand beyond 12, but a suggested a play-off between the bottom club and the winners of the Championship next year has apparently been rejected.
The Championship’s heads of agreement with the RFU runs until the summer of 2020 so any structural changes before then would have required unanimous approval from the 12 second-tier clubs.
The report suggests Premiership Rugby have not ruled out a 13 or 14 team Premiership, with the likes of London Irish, Bristol and Ealing Trailfinders set to perhaps be included. If this happens the Champions Cup could be affected. Premiership Rugby may look for less English teams to be involved.
“There is a feeling that the Champions Cup has lost its aura with more than half of the Premiership taking part this season and fewer European matches would allow for an expanded top flight in England without adding to player workload.” Gerard Meagher of The Guardian writes.
If this happens the entire Champions Cup structure may have to be changed yet again as a result of Premiership rugby and their wishes.