Promotion rules to the Premiership will be changed in 2018

  • Play-offs removed from next season
  • Winner of Championship is automatically promoted
Automatic promotion to the Premiership will be introduced in 2018 after the Rugby Football Union decided to scrap the Championship play-offs.

From next season, the club who finishes top of the table will be crowned the winner of the Greene King IPA Championship and will be promoted into Premiership Rugby the following season if they satisfy the ‘minimum standards criteria’.


The new format was agreed and supported by the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the Greene King IPA Championship clubs.

Additional funding from the RFU and Premiership Rugby (PRL) will be provided to Greene King IPA Championship clubs as a result of an agreement between the three parties.


“The first-past-the-post system will allow the promoted club a greater amount of time to recruit ahead of the next season which is important for their preparation in playing in the Premiership,” said RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie.

“In addition, all of the clubs will also benefit from extra funding provided by the RFU and Premiership Rugby. It was also important for this regulation change to be agreed in principle by the RFU Council to allow clubs certainty regarding budget planning for next season.”

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