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Aviva Premiership
Exiles welcome Falcons' decision
ESPN Staff
July 3, 2012
Canada's Phil Mackenzie of Canada goes over to score a try, Canada v Tonga, Rugby World Cup, Whangarei, New Zealand, September 14, 2011
London Welsh have bolstered their ranks with Phil Mackenzie ahead of next season © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Gavin Henson | Tom Voyce
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

London Welsh managing director John Taylor has welcomed Newcastle Falcons' decision not to appeal last Friday's appeal result which promoted the Exiles to the Aviva Premiership.

The Falcons will now play their rugby in the Championship next term while London Welsh are preparing for life in the top-flight. The Exiles' defence focused around the notion that the minimum standards criteria necessary for promotion to the Premiership went against EU law thus rendering them "void". Taylor claims that such was the strength of their case and the high level of disclosure that it was unlikely that the Falcons would be successful had they opted to take the matter to the High Court.

"We are very pleased to hear from Newcastle that they won't appeal but it's really a reflection of how difficult it would be for them to find any grounds for such an appeal," Taylor told ESPN. "When we had the hearing, we welcomed the Falcons into the discussions - as they requested - as we wanted to be transparent about everything.

"The reality was that the three judges in charge were three of the top men in the UK regarding competition law and their decision that the regulations were unlawful is pretty hard to overturn. Newcastle would have to find some new evidence to present to a High Court judge which would have been pretty much impossible as there was a huge amount of disclosure pre-hearing."

London Welsh boss Lyn Jones now faces the task of building a squad fit for the Premiership and Taylor claims there are around six spots left in the squad for some top quality players. The side have been linked with Gavin Henson and Tom Voyce recently, but Taylor claims they are focusing on bolstering their pack.

"It's a matter of 'watch this space' regarding our recruitment," Taylor said. "We've been planning in parallel for the last month with two different budgets - one for the Championship and one for the Premiership.

"We have already brought in some class in the backs such as Canadian international Phil McKenzie so our immediate priority is the front five. A Championship front five would struggle against a Premiership pack so we need to strengthen up in that area.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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