The Premiership will expand to 14 clubs starting in the 2022/23 season


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The Premiership will expand to 14 clubs starting in the 2022/23 season

The Premiership will expand to 14 clubs starting in the 2022/23 season, therefore there will be no relegation in the next edition of the tournament.

Saracens will rejoin the top flight England after they were crowned champions earlier this month, increasing the number of teams for the 2021/22 campaign from 12 to 13.

Y the Rugby Football Union council now voted to add another team for the next two seasons, with a tiebreaker between the last Premiership team and the Championship winners deciding relegation in 2023/24.

Unless the council agrees otherwise, starting in 2024/25 promotion and demotion will revert to an annual ascending and descending basis.

“The changes will undoubtedly benefit rugby in England as we recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said RFU President Jeff Blackett.

“This is not a siege to the Premiership as some have suggested. In three of the four seasons covered by this and our previous decision, a Championship club will have a chance to move up.

“The council is in control of what happens thereafter and is committed to maintaining the integrity of the league structure by ensuring that access to the Premiership will continue into the future.”

Called ‘The Covid Recovery Plan’, the structural changes are expected to “improve the financial stability and sustainability of professional rugby for the next three seasons while also providing benefits for England and the community game.”

Premiership expansion is subject to promoted clubs meeting required minimum standards, which will be reviewed.

Pausing relegation for 2023/24 allows clubs to plan with greater certainty, while helping acclimatize the newly promoted team to the top flight.

As of 2024, It has been proposed that each club should have 15 players qualified in English on matchday 23 and that the foreign player rule be removed, although they have not yet been agreed.


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