In a decision announced by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) earlier this week, the Newcastle Falcons have been granted automatic promotion back to the Gallagher Premiership.
This came after the Greene King championship 2019/20 was suspended due to Coronavirus, with the board deciding to grant the league leaders promotion to the higher division. Despite their poor year last season, this season the Falcons went 15 games unbeaten in the league, and 7 games unbeaten in cup games.
However, promotion does come with relegation, as bottom-of-the-league Yorkshire Carnegie will be playing lower-league rugby next season. The full league standings are available here.
Peter Wheeler, the president of the RFU, stated “We believe that the decisions made provide fair and balanced outcomes for the game and maintain the integrity of the competitions. We have listened to recommendations from the heart of the game and the approach has been ratified by the RFU Council”
“This has been a difficult decision to make in the most unprecedented of circumstances. There is no single solution that will suit every club, but the approach taken is one that we believe best reflects the nature of league rugby in England”
“With 80% of the season complete for the community game, we believe our approach is fair and the right one for our leagues. We have clubs that are clear league leaders and those who have said they would benefit from relegation to play more meaningful rugby”.
The club also posted on their Instagram, suggesting they were “pleased to announce” their return to the Premiership, furthering on their club-site thoughts towards “everyone affected by this whole situation”.
With what seems a straightforward decision, given the nature of the league, it’ll be interesting to see how other sports adapt to this world-wide issue.
Last modified: 3rd April 2020