The Newcastle Falcons are set to win promotion back into the English Premiership after the RFU unveiled its plan for final league positions in the Championship.
Newcastle were on top of the Championship, having won all 15 of their fixtures when the RFU decided to end the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Second-placed Ealing Trailfinders were 18 points behind, having played one fewer game than the Falcons.
According to a statement from the RFU, the final standings in the Championship will be calculated according to a ‘ best playing record formula’. Given the distance between Newcastle and Ealing, it looks likely that the Falcons will therefore be promoted, replacing Saracens, who were relegated after breaking the Premiership’s salary-cap rules.
There is still no confirmation over whether the Premiership will continue this year. The final table for the Championship will be available on Friday evening.
‘We believe that the decisions made provide fair and balanced outcomes for the game and maintain the integrity of the competitions,’ RFU president Peter Wheeler said. ‘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 worthy of promotion, but also other clubs who have said they would benefit from relegation, to play more meaningful rugby.’
South Africans in the current Newcastle squad include former Sharks hooker Kyle Cooper, lock Sebastian de Chaves and fullback Tim Swiel, who played for both Western Province and the Sharks before moving to England.
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