London Welsh forced to wait on appeal
May 30, 2012
London Welsh have opted for the Kassam Stadium as their ground for next season if they get promotion © Getty Images
London Welsh will meet with the Rugby Football Union ahead of their Championship play-off final second-leg clash with Cornish Pirates tonight with an official appeal against the decision to block their promotion to the Premiership set to follow should they claim victory.
London Welsh have a 16-point advantage going into the match with Cornish Pirates tonight at the Kassam Stadium but the game is being played under a cloud of uncertainty for the favourites. The Rugby Football Union ruled last week that London Welsh's application for the Premiership failed to meet the minimum standards required but the Championship side look set to appeal that decision.
"There is an unofficial, informal meeting today but 'appeal proceedings' cannot begin until we have actually won the Championship so we have to get this evening done and dusted first," London Welsh managing director John Taylor told ESPN. "We are getting all our ducks in line so that we are ready to appeal, if necessary, tomorrow or Friday at latest as you would expect."
The RFU's decision was largely based on London Welsh not having 'primacy of tenure' at their nominated ground - the Kassam Stadium - and Taylor believes the club has been misled by the game's governing bodies.
"We had been led to believe what they really meant by primacy of tenure we were okay with it," Taylor told the Evening Standard. "I had meetings with the RFU and Premier Rugby Limited, who run the Premiership, where they stressed primacy of tenure didn't mean you had to be a tenant.
"What they meant was that the integrity of the competition was protected because you had arrangements in place that basically meant you could play games when they (PRL) wanted them to be played. Their big fear is that you are totally a puppet of a football club.
"But there is huge experience now with Wasps, Saracens, London Irish and Sale and it has always worked extremely well. We have had a lot of dialogue over the past two or three months and we were led to believe that we were moving this towards a satisfactory conclusion for all concerned.
"The RFU have made a rod for their own backs. Because by granting exemptions to all and sundry for not satisfying minimum standards criteria, which they have done with all these founder members but then saying they will not apply to any newcomers, it's a very tough case for them to make. We want to go up and last week's result showed what we're capable of."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton