11 Nov 2008

RFU to further professionalise their game

6:39 pm on 11 November 2008

England rugby bosses are planning to fully professionalize their second tier of club rugby.

The plan would see the 12-team National League Division One become the Championship with each team playing 22 league games a season with the top eight playing off for one promotion place to the Premiership.

All clubs hoping to take part in the Championship would be subject to a salary cap and will have to meet minimum ground requirements.

RFU chairman Martyn Thomas says the Championship will help in the transition from the community game to the Premiership.

If any of the 12 clubs invited into the Championship were to decide not to turn pro, their place would be offered to the next highest-ranked side in the league.