Gallagher Premiership set to halt relegation for next five years

The Gallagher Premiership is set to be ring-fenced for four years from 2021 to 2025 under a radical plan to restructure English club rugby, according to reports.

There would also, under the current plan, be no relegation at the end of the 2020/21 season, meaning the league will have expanded to 13 teams for the following four seasons.

I News have reported that the suspension of relegation was ‘contained in a 76-page blueprint that was backed last week by the 11 current second-division sides, and has now been presented to the Premiership clubs and the Rugby Football Union.’

Supporters of ring-fencing point to two primary benefits: that teams would play more expansive, entertaining rugby and that they would field more young, English-qualified players.

The trade-off is that it could be many years before another club replicates Exeter by rising through the leagues to the top division, as Ealing Trailfinders have tried to do in recent times.

EDITORS PICKS:

After the four years a “Promotion and Relegation Commission”, chaired by an independent QC, would decide on promotion from the 2025-26 season onwards.

Each season would end with an annual audit of each Premiership and The English Championship clubs to “indicate whether a PRL club is performing consistently badly or a TEC club is performing consistently well.”

We much prefer our idea of an American Football (yes they do some things well) based system.

If you don’t know the NFL structure, there are eight divisions. This will only be five in our Premiership version.

These teams play their own division teams twice (Home and away), and an assortment of other teams for a total of 16 games.

At the end of that, the five division winners, plus the three best performing other teams enter a playoff, very much like the European Champions Cup

Divisions are split up roughly by location, and division names are given based on the general area.

Obviously, the 12 Premiership teams made it in. The other eight all came from the Championship and were decided using a combination of recent league performance and best suited by location.

I’m expecting disagreements with some of these but cut me a little slack. Here are the divisions:

NORTHERN DIVISION

  • Doncaster Knights
  • Newcastle Falcons
  • Sale Sharks
  • Yorkshire Carnegie

LONDON DIVISION

  • Ealing Trailfinders
  • Harlequins
  • London Irish
  • Saracens

MIDLANDS 1

  • Bedford Blues
  • Leicester Tigers
  • Northampton Saints
  • Nottingham

MIDLANDS 2

  • Bristol Bears
  • Gloucester
  • Wasps
  • Worcester Warriors

SOUTHERN DIVISION

  • Bath
  • Cornish Pirates
  • Exeter Chiefs
  • Jersey

JOIN THE RUCK


LIST | Rugby internationals who lost a ton of weight in retirement

Below is a look at five players who lost a ton of weight after their rugby union careers ended.

1. Phil Vickery (England)

The World Cup-winning prop has transformed his body since hanging up his boots. Vickery, who won the 2011 series of Celebrity Masterchef, has recently opened his new Cheltenham restaurant, No.3, after the Coronavirus pandemic delayed first orders. He’s literally half the man he used to be.

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