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Championship Season Extended

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

THE RFU Championship season play-offs will be moved back a week due to the postponements caused by England's worst winter weather for 50 years.

The Championship Organising Committee considered the views of all the clubs and decided that:

Round 17 fixtures postponed from the weekend of January 9 will move to Saturday, March 13 (2pm kick-off)

Round 22 fixtures scheduled for Saturday, February 20 can be rearranged to Sunday, February 21

Round 1 of Stage 2 (promotion and relegation play-offs) will move from the weekend of March 13 to the weekend of March 20

Round 6 of Stage 2 will move from the weekend of April 17 to the weekend of May 1

The Semi finals will move from the weekend of May 1 to the weekend of May 8

The Final will move from May 12 & 19 to May 14 & 19 or May 19 & 26 after discussion with rights holding broadcasters Sky.

RFU Tournament and Competitions Director Terry Burwell said: "We are conscious that the worst winter weather for 50 years has caused enormous fixture scheduling problems for clubs across the country.

"The Championship clubs, despite their best efforts to put fixtures on, have also suffered and with this in mind we have canvassed their views and decided that the best option is to extend the Stage 1 window and push back Stage 2.

"We fully realise that some clubs will be affected commercially by this move in terms of hospitality bookings but player welfare is paramount and we believe this is the optimum solution for the clubs and the competition as a whole.

"We will aim to advise the clubs of their home matches in Stage 2 following the games on February 20 and 21."

Revised Championship season

League programme (22 matches)

all teams playing 22 matches (11 home & 11 away)

top 8 teams from league progress to promotion play-offs

teams 9-12 from league progress to relegation play-offs

Stage 2 - promotion play-offs (8 matches)

2 pools of 4 teams playing 6 matches (3 home & 3 away)

4 points for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 bonus point for either a) scoring 4 or more tries or b) losing by 7 points or less

teams ranked 1, 4, 5 & 8 from league play in Pool A

teams ranked 2, 3, 6 & 7 from league play in Pool B

after 6 pool matches, top 2 teams from Pools A & B progress to semi final and then the winners to the final

semi final draw - 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B & 1st Pool B v 2nd Pool A

promotion play-off matches scheduled March 20-May 1

semi finals weekend of May 8

final May 14 & 19 or May.19 & 26

winner of Championship final promoted to Guinness Premiership subject to fulfilling entry criteria

Stage 2 - relegation play-offs (6 matches)

1 pool of 4 teams playing 6 matches (3 home & 3 away)

4 points for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 bonus point for either a) scoring 4 or more tries or b) losing by 7 points or less

relegation play-off matches scheduled for March 20 -April 17

after 6 pool matches played, lowest ranked team is relegated to National Division One (level three)

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