Championship play-offs to be simplified
May 17, 2012
Lyn Jones has lead London Welsh side to the Championship final, where they will meet Cornish Pirates © Getty Images
The Rugby Football Union has decided to alter the Championship promotion and relegation play-offs for next season after coming under fire for the system this year, BBC Sport reports.
The top four teams will reportedly now play a two-legged semi-final, before a two-legged final to decide on who goes up, while the bottom side will automatically be relegated to the third tier.
Under the current system the top eight teams are divided into two groups, while the bottom-four form a relegation play-off group. It was designed to give the clubs extra matches and greater revenue, but came under fire as it rendered the 22 regular season matches largely irrelevant and didn't give clubs enough time to plan for the following season.
This year London Welsh will play Cornish Pirates in the play-off final. End-of-season league leaders Bristol fell to the Pirates in the semi-final after they were forced to play a further six matches to reach the last four.
"We've got the system changed and I was one of the main lobbyists for that," Bristol chairman Chris Booy told BBC Points West. "I think it will prepare us better because we can manage our squad to be in peak condition for the semis and final."
© 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