RFU receives extended season proposal
January 23, 2009
Premier Rugby chief Mark McCafferty will detail the proposals at a media briefing on Monday © Getty Images
The RFU have received the details of Premier Rugby's suggested extension to the Guinness Premiership season, a change that has been slated to begin next season.
Premier Rugby, the body responsible for representing the 12 Guinness Premiership clubs, want to extend the season by six rounds from its current 22. The extra games will be played on five weekends currently set aside for the Anglo-Welsh Cup competition, with the sixth played over the Christmas period.
Details of the proposal are to be announced by Premier Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty at a media briefing next week, while RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew is currently studying the proposals with a view to reporting to an RFU meeting next Wednesday.
The two parties look set to have a great deal to debate, with the potential increase in overlaps between Premiership and international fixtures, any increase in foreign signings given the high number of players contributed by certain clubs to international duty and a possible cancellation of plans to formulate a successor to the current Anglo-Welsh Cup, sponsored by EDF Energy, all set to be on the agenda.
Such a cancellation could lead to strained relations between the RFU and the four Welsh regions, Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets, who would stand to lose a substantial source of income.
In a statement the RFU pinpointed the following considerations:
The key financial and commercial considerations for the RFU will be the following:
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