Rugby-RFU to confirm final Championship positions after coronavirus ends season

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Thursday it will announce the final league positions for the Championship, Premier 15s and the community game after the coronavirus pandemic ended their seasons.

April 2 (Reuters) - The Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Thursday it will announce the final league positions for the Championship, Premier 15s and the community game after the coronavirus pandemic ended their seasons.

The RFU confirmed the end of the 2019-20 season for all league, cup and county rugby last month but the English Premiership was excluded.

The final league positions will be calculated based on a "best playing record formula" which will decide promotion and relegation, with unbeaten Championship (second tier) leaders Newcastle Falcons set to be promoted to the Premiership.

"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 in a statement.

"We have listened to recommendations from the heart of the game and the approach has been ratified by the RFU Council."

Wheeler said they were forced into the decisions due to the "most unprecedented of circumstances", with no single solution suiting every club.

"With 80% of the season complete for the community game, we believe our approach is fair and the right one for our leagues," Wheeler added.

"We have clubs that are clear league leaders and those who have said they would benefit from relegation to play more meaningful rugby."

Second-placed Ealing Trailfinders, who trail Newcastle by 18 points, said last month they were seeking legal advice as they still had a chance of catching the leaders -- a move slammed by Newcastle's director of rugby Dean Richards.

The women's Premier 15s season was declared null and void since it has no promotion or relegation.

The RFU said the final league tables would be available on Friday.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )

((Rohith.Nair@thomsonreuters.com;))

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