Championship play-offs to be scrapped with top team promoted automaticlaly
Last Updated: 03/03/17 5:43pm
The play-off system used to determine promotion into the Aviva Premiership will be abandoned from next season with the team finishing top of the Greene King IPA Championship being promoted automatically.
Under the current system, the Championship's top four teams compete in a season-extending play-off but the change is designed to give the promoted team more time to prepare for life in the top flight.
Ian Ritchire, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive, said: "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."
The reform, part of a three-year plan backed by the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the Championship clubs, carries with it extra funding for the second tier.
Each Championship club will receive increased payments over the next three seasons as well as merit payments based on their final position in the table.