RFU Championship

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RFU Championship
Founded 1987; 31 years ago (1987)
Country  England
Other club(s) from  Jersey
Number of teams 12
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to Premiership
Relegation to National League 1
Domestic cup(s) Championship Cup
Current champions Bristol Bears
(2017-18)
Most championships Bristol Bears (4 titles)
TV partners Sky Sports
Website championshiprugby.co.uk
2018–19 RFU Championship

The RFU Championship, known for sponsorship reasons as the Greene King IPA Championship from 2013–14,[1] is the second tier of the English rugby union league system and was founded in September 1987. The twelve-side league was known as National Division One and in 2009 changed from semi-professional clubs to fully professional. The 2018 champions were Bristol Bears as they won the league. They won automatic promotion to Premiership Rugby.

Originally the league required an end-of-season round of two-legged play-offs in which the top eight, from 2012-13 until 2016-17 revised to top four, clubs at the end of the main phase of the season played each other.

History[edit]

See also History of the English rugby union system

On 10 November 2008 it was proposed by the Rugby Football Union that the second tier of the English rugby union system should be a fully professional twelve club Championship. The proposal was criticised by the then National League One chairman Geoff Irvine, representing the clubs, who described it as "financial suicide", although, six League One clubs subsequently supported the proposal. The proposals required five clubs to be relegated to National Division Two, with only one club being promoted from that division and one club joining the league from the Premiership.[2] On 15 November 2008 the RFU Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new proposal, which began in September 2009.[3] Under the proposal the RFU paid £2.3 million a year to help fund the change, with future rises due through television rights.[2]

Since 2009–10 season the team that wins the Championship league is not automatically promoted to the Premiership, instead a play-off competition takes place to determine which team is promoted. For the first three seasons the top eight clubs had to enter the play-offs. Since 2012–13 they have been between the top four clubs. If the play-offs winner and/or runner-up fall short of minimum standards criteria (in grounds etc.) for entry to the Premiership no promotion or relegation takes place between the two divisions as to such a club. The RFU have clarified that they will not consider promoting lower-placed sides in the play-offs even if they finished top of the league phase (league table). The play-offs format has been criticised by the media, players and fans alike, resulting in its shortening to the top four clubs after the main part of the season and its abolition for the 2017-2018 season onwards.[4][5]

Until 2013 a relegation play-off round took place between the four lowest placed clubs in the Championship.

2009–10 season[edit]

The 2009–10 RFU Championship season was the first in which the league was fully professional. Silversmiths Thomas Lyte created a new trophy for the launch.[6]

Format[edit]

Since 2009-10, the winner of the Championship league has not been automatically promoted to the Premiership. Instead, a play-off competition between the top eight clubs was held to determine the promoted club. The first, fourth, fifth and eighth placed clubs entered Group A; the second, third, sixth and seventh placed clubs entered Group B. Each side played the other sides in their division home-and-away. The two highest-placed sides in each division went through to a single-leg semi-final, and the semi-final winners played a two-legged final. The two legs of the final were played at the two competing clubs' home grounds, rather than at Twickenham.

In the event that the winner of the play-off competition did not meet the minimum standards criteria for entry to the Premiership, there was to be no promotion or relegation between the Championship and Premiership for that season. That did not apply in 2009–10, as the RFU announced before the second leg of the Championship final that both participants, Bristol and Exeter, met the criteria for promotion.

There was also a play-off between the four lowest placed clubs in the Championship to determine who was relegated to National League 1.

Criticism and changes for 2010–11[edit]

The formats of both the promotion and relegation play-offs were criticised after that first season. In both phases, all teams began equal, regardless of their performance during the home-and-away season. Moseley, who had been in serious relegation danger after a poor start to the play-offs, were particularly angry about the format because they started the relegation phase equal to the other three teams involved; despite having won ten matches during the season to Birmingham's none. It was also felt that starting all teams equal in the promotion phase gave teams little incentive to win the regular season because there was no reward for a high finish within the top eight.[7] As a result, the following changes were made to the promotion and relegation phases:[7]

  • In the promotion phase:
    • The top two clubs at the end of the regular season started the play-off on 3 points.
    • The third- and fourth-placed clubs started on 2 points.
    • The fifth- and sixth-place clubs started on 1 point.
    • The remaining two clubs started on 0 points.
    • The semi-finals changed from one-off to two-legged matches.
  • In the relegation phase, clubs carried over 1 point for each win in the regular season.

Further changes for 2012–13[edit]

The play-off format had been developed to increase club revenues, as each club had been assured of at least two home fixtures after the home-and-away season. However, criticism remained, especially from the best performing clubs, as they had to navigate ten additional fixtures in order to earn promotion. Bristol had particular reason to feel aggrieved; in two seasons under the revamped format, they finished first in the table, but lost in the 2010 play-off final to Exeter and in the 2012 semi-finals to Cornish Pirates (in 2011, the final was contested between Worcester Warriors, who had won the league, and Cornish Pirates).[8]

As a result, the RFU eliminated pool play for both promotion and relegation. Starting with the 2012–13 season and continuing through to 2016–17, the top four clubs at the end of the regular season enter promotion play-offs. The format is the same as the 2011 and 2012 knockout stages, with two-legged semi-finals followed by a two-legged final. This system is identical to that of the Premiership, except that it uses two-legged matches instead of the Premiership's one-off matches. Relegation play-offs were eliminated; the bottom side is now automatically relegated (also mirroring the Premiership). Bristol's chairman Chris Booy welcomed the changes, telling the BBC,[8]

"We had a mad 10 minutes in Penzance and our whole (2011–12) season fell apart. We've got the system changed and I was one of the main lobbyists for that. I think it will prepare us better because we can manage our squad to be in peak condition for the semis' and the final. A number of teams will be fighting to get into the top four, whereas before they were resting (sic) to get into the top eight."

From 2017–18 forward, the RFU will eliminate the promotion play-offs for a minimum of three seasons. The club finishing atop the regular-season table will be automatically promoted to the Premiership, provided said club meets minimum entry criteria.[9]

Competition funding[edit]

The RFU Championship clubs were in dispute with the RFU over funding for the competition and claimed that each club was owed £77,000 for the past three seasons, and will be owed a further £120,000 over the next four seasons. The clubs believed they should have receive £295,000 in 2009–10, rising to £400,000 by 2015–16 and further believe there was a breach of contract on the part of the RFU. The RFU stated that the original funding was an estimate and by 2015–16 the figure will be £359,400.[10] When the RFU announced the end of promotion play-offs, it also announced funding increases from both itself and the Premiership, including a new system which ties some of the new funding to each Championship side's performance in the league season.[9]

On 26 June 2013, the RFU and Greene King Brewery announced the Championship's first-ever name sponsorship deal. The competition will officially be known as the Greene King IPA Championship until the end of the 2019–20 season.[1]

2018–19 season[edit]

Greater London RFU Championship teams
Club Stadium Capacity Area
Bedford Blues Goldington Road 6,000 Bedford, Bedfordshire
Cornish Pirates Mennaye Field 4,000 (2,200 Seats) Penzance, Cornwall
Coventry Butts Park Arena 4,000 (3,000 Seats) Coventry, West Midlands
Doncaster Knights Castle Park 5,000 Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Ealing Trailfinders Trailfinders Sports Ground 3,020 (1,020 seats) West Ealing, London
Hartpury College College Stadium 2,000 Hartpury, Gloucestershire
Jersey Reds St Peter 4,000 Saint Peter, Jersey
London Irish Madejski Stadium 7,579[a] Reading, Berkshire
London Scottish Athletic Ground, Richmond 4,500 Richmond, London
Nottingham Lady Bay Sports Ground 3,000 Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Richmond Athletic Ground, Richmond 4,500 Richmond, London
Yorkshire Carnegie Headingley Rugby Stadium 21,062 Leeds, West Yorkshire
  1. ^ Although Madejski's full capacity is 24,161, for most matches only the West Stand will be open with capacity of 7,579.

Current standings[edit]

2018–19 RFU Championship Table watch · edit · discuss
Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points diff Try bonus Loss bonus Points
1 Bedford Blues 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Cornish Pirates 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Coventry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Doncaster Knights 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Ealing Trailfinders 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 Hartpury College 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Jersey Reds 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 London Irish 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 London Scottish 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 Nottingham 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 Richmond 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 Yorkshire Carnegie (R) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
  1. Number of matches won
  2. Difference between points for and against
  3. Total number of points for
  4. Aggregate number of points scored in matches between tied teams
  5. Number of matches won excluding the first match, then the second and so on until the tie is settled
Green background is the promotion place. Pink background is the relegation place.
Updated:
Source: "Greene King IPA Championship". NCA Rugby. 

List of champions[edit]

National One[edit]

List of National One Winners
Season Matches Champions Runners–up Relegated teams
1987–88 11 Rosslyn Park Liverpool St Helens No relegation
1988–89 11 Saracens Bedford London Scottish and London Welsh
1989–90 11 Northampton Liverpool St Helens No relegation[a 1]
1990–91 12 Rugby London Irish Richmond and Headingley
1991–92 12 London Scottish West Hartlepool Plymouth Albion and Liverpool St Helens
1992–93 12 Newcastle Gosforth Waterloo Bedford, Rosslyn Park, Richmond, Blackheath, Coventry, Fylde and Morley
1993–94 18 Sale West Hartlepool Rugby and Otley
1994–95 18 Saracens Wakefield Fylde and Coventry
1995–96 18 Northampton London Irish No relegation[a 2]
1996–97 22 Richmond Newcastle Rugby and Nottingham
1997–98 22 Bedford West Hartlepool, London Scottish (3rd - also promoted) No relegation[a 3]
1998–99 26 Bristol Rotherham Blackheath and Fylde
1999–00 26 Rotherham Leeds Tykes Rugby and West Hartlepool
2000–01 26 Leeds Tykes Worcester Orrell and Waterloo
2001–02 26 Rotherham Worcester Henley and Bracknell
2002–03 26 Rotherham Worcester Moseley and Rugby Lions
2003–04 26 Worcester Orrell Wakefield and Manchester
2004–05 26 Bristol Exeter Orrell and Henley
2005–06 26 Harlequins Bedford Blues No relegation[a 4]
2006–07 30 Leeds Tykes Earth Titans Otley and Waterloo
2007–08 30 Northampton Saints Exeter Chiefs Pertemp Bees and Launceston
2008–09 30 Leeds Tykes Exeter Chiefs Esher, Sedgley Park, Newbury, Otley, Manchester
Green background are promotion places.

RFU Championship[edit]

List of RFU Championship Winners (Champions decided by a play-off)
Season Champions Finalists No of matches First stage winners Runners-up Relegated team
2009–10 Exeter Chiefs Bristol 22 Bristol Exeter Chiefs Coventry
2010–11 Worcester Warriors Cornish Pirates 22 Worcester Warriors Bedford Blues Birmingham & Solihull
2011–12 London Welsh Cornish Pirates 22 Bristol Bedford Blues Esher
2012–13 Newcastle Falcons Bedford Blues 22 Newcastle Falcons Nottingham Doncaster Knights
2013–14 London Welsh Bristol 23 Bristol London Welsh Ealing Trailfinders
2014–15 Worcester Warriors Bristol 22 Bristol Worcester Warriors Plymouth Albion
2015–16 Bristol Doncaster Knights 22 Bristol Doncaster Knights Moseley
2016–17 London Irish Yorkshire Carnegie 22 London Irish Yorkshire Carnegie No relegation[a 5]
Green background are promotion places. Teams in bold are the winners of the 22 match first stage.
List of RFU Championship Winners (Champions decided by league)
Season Matches Champions Runners–up Relegated team
2017–18 12 Bristol Ealing Trailfinders Rotherham Titans
Green background are promotion places.

Summary of winners and runners-up[edit]

Teams Champions Years titles won Runners-up Years runners-up Top of league standings Number of promotions
Bristol 4 1999, 2005, 2016, 2018 3 2010, 2014, 2015 7 4
Worcester Warriors 3 2004, 2011, 2015 3 2001, 2002, 2003 2 3
Rotherham Titans 3 2000, 2002, 2003 2 1999, 2007 3 2
Yorkshire Carnegie 3 2001, 2007, 2009 2 2000, 2017 3 3
Northampton Saints 3 1990, 1996, 2008 3 3
Saracens 2 1989, 1995 2 2
Newcastle Falcons 2 1993, 2013 1 1997 2 3
London Welsh 2 2012, 2014 0 2
Exeter Chiefs 1 2010 3 2005, 2008, 2009 0 1
Bedford Blues 1 1998 3 1989, 2006, 2013 1 2
Rosslyn Park 1 1988 1 1
Rugby Lions 1 1991 1 1
London Scottish 1 1992 1 2
Sale Sharks 1 1994 1 1
Richmond 1 1997 1 1
Harlequins 1 2006 1 1
London Irish 1 2017 2 1991, 1996 1 3
West Hartlepool 3 1992, 1994, 1998 3
Liverpool St Helens 2 1988, 1990 2
Cornish Pirates 2 2011, 2012
Waterloo 1 1993
Wakefield 1 1994 1
Orrell 1 2004

Original teams[edit]

These are the twelve teams which made up the original league when league rugby began in 1987:

League results[edit]

League Information Start of Season End of Season
Season Name Teams Relegated to League Promoted to League Promoted from League Relegated from League
1996–97 Courage Championship Division One 12 None
1997–98 Allied Dunbar Premiership Two 12 None[a 6]
1998–99 Allied Dunbar Premiership Two 14 Bristol Bristol
1999–00 Allied Dunbar Premership Two 14 West Hartlepool Rotherham
2000–01 National Division One 14 Bedford Blues Leeds Tykes
2001–02 National Division One 14 Rotherham Titans None
2002–03 National Division One 14 None Rotherham Titans
2003–04 National Division One 14 Bristol Shoguns Worcester Warriors Manchester
2004–05 National Division One 14 Rotherham Titans Bristol
2005–06 National Division One 14 Harlequins Harlequins None[a 7]
2006–07 National Division One 16 Leeds Tykes Leeds Tykes
2007–08 National Division One 16 Northampton Saints Northampton Saints
2008–09 National Division One 16 Leeds Carnegie Leeds Carnegie
2009–10 RFU Championship 12 Bristol Birmingham and Solihull Exeter Chiefs Coventry
2010–11 RFU Championship 12 Worcester Warriors Esher Worcester Warriors Birmingham and Solihull
2011–12 RFU Championship 12 Leeds Carnegie London Scottish London Welsh Esher
2012–13 RFU Championship 12 Newcastle Falcons Jersey Newcastle Falcons Doncaster Knights
2013–14 Greene King IPA Championship 12 London Welsh Ealing Trailfinders London Welsh Ealing Trailfinders
2014–15 Greene King IPA Championship 12 Worcester Warriors Doncaster Knights Worcester Warriors Plymouth Albion
2015–16 Greene King IPA Championship 12 London Welsh Ealing Trailfinders Bristol Moseley
2016–17 Greene King IPA Championship 12 London Irish Richmond London Irish None[a 8]
2017–18 Greene King IPA Championship 12 Bristol Hartpury College Bristol Rotherham Titans

Records[edit]

Note that most records are from 1996-97 season onwards (aside from league champions, promotion and relegation data) as this is widely held as the dawn of professionalism across the English club game except in a few areas. It also offers a better comparison between seasons as the division team numbers are roughly equal (for example when league rugby union first started in 1987-88 the Courage League National Division Two had 12 teams playing 11 games each, compared to 12 teams in 1996-97 playing 24 games (home & away), going up to 16 teams in 2009-10 playing 30 games, back to 12 teams playing 24 games with additional playoff games). Attendance records are from 2000 onwards unless otherwise specified. All records are up to date up till the end of the 2017-18 season.

League records[edit]

  • Most titles: 4
Bristol (1998-99, 2004-05, 2015-16, 2017-18)
  • Most times promoted from division: 4
Bristol (1998-99, 2004-05, 2015-16, 2017-18)
  • Most times relegated from division: 4
Rugby Lions (1993-94, 1996-97, 1999-00, 2002-03)
  • Most league points in a season: 143
Northampton Saints (2007-08)
  • Least league points in a season: -9
Pertemps Bees (2009-10)[a 9]
  • Most points scored in a season: 1,321
Northampton Saints (2007-08)
  • Least points scored in a season: 216
West Hartlepool (1999-00)
  • Most points conceded in a season: 1,298
Otley (2008-09)
  • Least points conceded in a season: 252
Newcastle Falcons (2012-13)[a 10]
  • Best points difference (For/Against): 978
Northampton Saints (2007-08)
  • Worst points difference (For/Against): -898
West Hartlepool (1999-00)
  • Most games won in a season: 30
Northampton Saints (2007-08)
  • Most games lost in a season: 28
Manchester (2008-09)
  • Most games drawn in a season: 5
Birmingham & Solihull (2000-01)
  • Most bonus points in a season: 24
Rotherham Titans (2001-02, 2006-07), Northampton Saints (2007-08)

Match records[edit]

  • Largest home win: 156 - 5
Newcastle Falcons at home to Rugby Lions on 5 October 1996 (1996-97)
  • Largest away win: 104 - 0
Leeds Carnegie away to Manchester on 8 April 2009 (2008-09)
  • Most points scored in a match: 156
Newcastle Falcons at home to Rugby Lions on 5 October 1996 (1996-97)
  • Most tries scored in a match: 24
Newcastle Falcons at home to Rugby Lions on 5 October 1996 (1996-97)
  • Most conversions scored in a match: 18
Newcastle Falcons at home to Rugby Lions on 5 October 1996 (1996-97)
  • Most penalties scored in a match: 9
Manchester at home to Wakefield on 15 December 2001 (2001-02)
Coventry at home to Otley on 13 November 2004 (2004-05)
  • Most drop kicks scored in a match: 3
Exeter Chiefs away to Rotherham on 10 November 2001 (2001-02)
Exeter Chiefs away to Plymouth Albion on 8 September 2007 (2007-08)
Cornish Pirates at home to Plymouth Albion on 12 April 2009 (2008-09)
Worcester Warriors away to Bedford Blues on 16 October 2010 (2010-11)
Leeds Carnegie at home to Rotherham Titans on 25 November 2011 (2011-12)

Attendance records[edit]

  • Highest attendance: 16,048
Bristol at home to Doncaster Knights on 25 May 2016 (2015-16)
  • Lowest attendance: 150[a 11]
Bracknell at home to Exeter Chiefs on 2 March 2002 (2001-02)
Moseley at home to Rugby Lions on 23 March 2002 (2001-02)
  • Highest average attendance (club): 11,494
Northampton Saints (2007-08)
  • Lowest average attendance (club): 322
Birmingham & Solihull (2000-01)[a 12]
  • Highest average attendance (season): 2,738 (2014-15)
  • Lowest average attendance (season): 908, (2000-01)[a 13]

Player records[edit]

Championship top point scorers[edit]

As of the end of the games of May 25, 2016. Stats taken from 1996-97 season onwards and includes both regular league/playoff games the RFU Championship only (no cup games). Points scored includes tries, drop kicks, penalties and conversions.[17]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Points Apps Ratio
1 Canada James Pritchard 2001-03, 2006-16
2004-05
Bedford Blues
Plymouth Albion
2,673 251 10.6
2 England Tony Yapp 1997-98
1999-02
2002-09
Bedford Blues
Worcester Warriors
Exeter Chiefs
1,913 207 9.2
3 England Simon Binns 1996-98, 1999-01
2001-07
Rotherham
Otley
1,792 188 9.5
4 England Leigh Hinton 1998-99
2000-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2006-07, 2008-09
Worcester
Moseley
Birmingham & Solihull
Orrell
Bedford Blues
Leeds Carnegie
1,397 160 8.7
5 England Phil Jones 2001-03
2005-11
Orrell
Sedgley Park
1,194 197 6.1
6 England Oliver Thomas 2002-03, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2010-15
2007-08
Moseley
Cornish Pirates
1,070 175 6.1
7 England Tristan Roberts 2008-10
2010-11
2011-14
2015-16
Moseley
Doncaster Knights
Bristol
Ealing Trailfinders
1,063 127 8.4
8 Ireland Gareth Steenson 2006-07
2007-08
2008-10
Earth Titans
Cornish Pirates
Exeter Chiefs
1,059 116 9.1
9 Ireland Kieran Hallett 2004-07
2008-11
2011-12
2012-
Bedford Blues
Plymouth Albion
Nottingham
Cornish Pirates
1,033 170 6.0
10 England Tom Barlow 1998-99
2002-04
2004-06
2006-08
2008-09
Fylde
Plymouth Albion
Cornish Pirates
Nottingham
Rotherham Titans
922 142 6.5

(Bold denotes players still playing in the RFU Championship.)

Championship top try scorers[edit]

As of the end of the games of May 25, 2016. Stats taken from 1996-97 season onwards and includes both regular league/playoff games the RFU Championship only (no cup games).[18]
Rank Nat Name Years Club(s) Tries Apps Ratio
1 England Kurt Johnson 1998-99
1999-10
Orrell
Coventry
108 239 0.5
2 England Richard Baxter 1997-10 Exeter Chiefs 105 315 0.3
3 England Jon Feeley 1998-00
2000-04
2004-06
2006-10
Leeds Tykes
Wakefield
Sedgley Park
Rotherham Titans
101 222 0.5
4 England Nick Baxter 1997-01
2001-06
Worcester
Pertemps Bees
98 190 0.5
5 Canada James Pritchard 2001-03, 2006-16
2004-05
Bedford Blues
Plymouth Albion
94 251 0.4
6 England Wes Davies 2001-03
2003-04
2004-06, 2009-13
2006-09
Orrell
Worcester Warriors
Cornish Pirates
Doncaster Knights
89 234 0.4
7 England Duncan Roke 1999-01
2001-04
2005-07
Henley Hawks
Worcester Warriors
Cornish Pirates
77 146 0.5
8 England Richard Welding 1999-01, 2002-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07, 2008-09
2010-11
Orrell
Sedgley Park
Cornish Pirates
Leeds Carnegie
Rotherham Titans
72 186 0.4
9 England Matt Jess 2003-06
2007-08
2008-10
Cornish Pirates
Launceston
Exeter Chiefs
71 152 0.5
10 England Leigh Hinton 1998-99
2000-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2006-07, 2008-09
Worcester
Moseley
Birmingham & Solihull
Orrell
Bedford Blues
Leeds Carnegie
71 160 0.4

(Bold denotes players still playing in the RFU Championship.)

Other player records[edit]

  • Most times top points scorer: 2
England Leigh Hinton for Orrell (2004-05, 2006-07)
Ireland Gareth Steenson for Cornish Pirates (2007-08) and Exeter Chiefs (2009-10)
  • Most times top try scorer: 2
England Dean Lax for Rotherham (1998-99, 1999-00)
  • Most points in a season: 396
Tonga Sateki Tuipulotu for Worcester (2000-01)
  • Most tries in a season: 39
England Chris Ashton for Northampton Saints (2007-08)
  • Most points in a match: 42
England Jez Harris for Coventry at home to Nottingham on 5 October 1996 (1996-97)
  • Most tries in a match: 6
England Chris Ashton for Northampton Saints at home to Launceston on 26 April 2008 (2007-08)
  • Most conversions in a match: 18
England Rob Andrew for Newcastle Falcons at home to Rugby Lions on 5 October 1996 (1996-97)
  • Most penalties in a match: 9
England Marcus Barrow for Manchester at home to Wakefield on 15 December 2001 (2001-02)
England Matthew Leek for Coventry at home to Otley on 13 November 2004 (2004-05)
  • Most drop kicks in a match: 3
Australia Chris Malone for Exeter Chiefs away to Rotherham on 10 November 2001 (2001-02)
England Danny Gray for Exeter Chiefs away to Plymouth Albion on 8 September 2007 (2007-08)
Wales Rhys Jones for Cornish Pirates at home to Plymouth Albion on 12 April 2009 (2008-09)
England Andy Goode for Exeter Chiefs away to Bristol on 26 May 2010 (2010-11)
England Joe Ford for Leeds Carnegie at home to Rotherham Titans on 25 November 2011 (2011-12)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Due to the expansion of the Courage National Leagues for the following season there was no relegation from the 1989–90 Courage League National Division Two.[11]
  2. ^ Due to the expansion of the division from 10 to 12 teams for the following season there was no relegation from the 1995-96 Courage League National Division Two.[12]
  3. ^ Due to the expansion of the top two divisions for the following season there was no relegation from the 1997-98 Dunbar Premiership Two.[13]
  4. ^ Due to the RFU expanding the league from 14 to 16 teams for the following season there was no relegation from the 2005-06 National Division One.[14]
  5. ^ Due to London Welsh going into liquidation and being expelled from the league in January 2017 there was no relegation from the 2016-17 RFU Championship.[15]
  6. ^ Due to the expansion of the top two divisions for the following season there was no relegation from the 1997-98 Dunbar Premiership Two.[13]
  7. ^ Due to the RFU expanding the league from 14 to 16 teams for the following season there was no relegation from the 2005-06 National Division One.[14]
  8. ^ Due to London Welsh going into liquidation and being expelled from the league in January 2017 there was no relegation from the 2016-17 RFU Championship.[15]
  9. ^ This figure is taken from the regular 2009-10 RFU Championship season and does not include the relegation group games. The minus figure came about because Pertemps Bees were deducted 15 points by the RFU for going into voluntary liquidation but were allowed to continue playing as they were granted a temporary licence. Without the points deduction the Bees would have got 6 points during the first stage of the season.[16]
  10. ^ Figure is for regular season only and does not include playoffs.
  11. ^ Note that there is very little attendance data prior to the 2000-01 season so it is possible there could have been lower attendances than the ones listed.
  12. ^ Note that there is very little attendance data prior to the 2000-01 season so it is possible there could have been lower average club attendances than the one listed. Also, Birmingham & Solihull were missing 2 attendance figures from this season which means their average is not 100% accurate and could be slightly lower or higher with these games accounted for.
  13. ^ Note that there is very little attendance data prior to the 2000-01 season so it is possible that previous seasons had lower average attendances.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Greene King IPA to sponsor RFU Championship" (Press release). Rugby Football Union. 26 June 2013. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Championship plan gains support". BBC Sport. BBC. 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  3. ^ Simon Mills (2008-11-15). "RFU Council approves major changes to shape of club game". Rugby Football Union. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  4. ^ Brian Dick (2010-02-28). "Moseley star Nathan Williams questions fairness of play–offs system". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  5. ^ Brian Dick (2010-02-25). "Taxing times for clubs struggling in rugby's Championship". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  6. ^ RFU Championship building to gripping finale
  7. ^ a b Taylor, John (2010-08-18). "What close season?". ESPNScrum. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  8. ^ a b "Championship: RFU to abolish play–off pool stages". BBC Sport. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  9. ^ a b "Play-off system removed from Greene King IPA Championship from next season" (Press release). Premiership Rugby Limited. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Straughan, Dick (5 July 2012). "Falcons relegated as Welsh win RFU promotion appleal". The Cornishman. p. 80. 
  11. ^ Tony Williams and Bill Mitchell, ed. (1990). Courage Official Rugby Union Club Directory 1990–91. Windsor: Burlington Publishing Co Ltd. 
  12. ^ Mick Cleary and John Griffiths, ed. (1996). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1996–97. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7472-7771-2. 
  13. ^ a b "Leagues 1997/98". Moseley Rugby Club. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "RFU council approves expansion of National League One". ESPN. 17 March 2006. 
  15. ^ a b "London Welsh: RFU refuses permission for Exiles to stay in Championship". BBC Sport. 24 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "Birmingham & Solihull - Wednesday". rolling-maul.com. 28 October 2009. 
  17. ^ "RFU Championship All time leading top scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 26 February 2016. 
  18. ^ "RFU Championship All time try scorers". Rugby Statbunker. 26 February 2016. 

External links[edit]