3 RFU Championship Clubs Apply for 2023/24 EPCR Challenge Cup - Ruck

3 RFU Championship Clubs Apply for 2023/24 EPCR Challenge Cup

Three clubs from the second division of English rugby, have applied for a place in the 2023/24 EPCR Challenge Cup. RFU Championship clubs Jersey Reds, Ealing Trailfinders and Coventry have reportedly requested to join the European club competition.

Latest reports also show how Georgian club The Black Lion, are hopeful that they will be offered a place in the 2023/24 EPCR Challenge Cup competition. The Tbilisi side play in the Rugby Europe Super Cup Eastern Conference, against the likes of the Romanian Wolves.

Try celebrations for Ealing Trailfinders after a penalty during the Greene King IPA Championship rugby match between Saracens and Ealing Trailfinders at The StoneX Stadium, Hendon, London on April 25 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK

A report from Telegraph Sport presents that the three Championship clubs have each applied to play in the Challenge Cup next season. The gaps have opened up within the competition, after the mid-season collapse of Worcester Warriors and Wasps, from the Gallagher Premiership.

Social media is divided over the report, with half the rugby fanbase fully backing the Championship trail-blazers. The polarizing half would rather see the Challenge Cup opened up to the best teams from Portugal, Georgia and Romania, given the European sides’ inclusion in the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The future of Worcester Warriors is as yet unconfirmed, with their new Atlas ownership and merger with Stourbridge RFC is yet to reach completion. Wasps fate has already been decided, as their hopes of relegation into the RFU Championship were crushed, when the news broke confirming that the Coventry side will have to start over from the bottom of the English rugby pyramid.

Jersey Reds are the reigning RFU Championship holders, after stealing the title from Ealing Trailfinders in a thrilling penultimate round match. Ealing had led the Championship for the majority of the season, before the Reds secured a 19-13 victory to take top spot with just one league game left to go.

Image Credit: ITV Channel Island on twitter

Jersey then dismantled Ampthill 43-15, and lifted the Championship trophy with 100 points, winning 20 of their 22 matches. Ealing fell just short in second with 98 points, and were 10 points clear of Coventry in third. Coventry have bolstered their squad with an England capped international for next season, as they announced the arrival of Matt Kvesic to the Butts Park Arena.

Regardless of whether the trio are successful in their application, all of the RFU Championship sides will be gaining exposure in playing against top-tier opponents next season. The 2023/24 Premiership Rugby Cup competition will feature all of the teams from the Gallagher Premiership and RFU Championship, in an exciting new format.