English Premiership rugby scraps relegation for 2020/21 season

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Rugby ball (Getty Images)
Rugby ball (Getty Images)

Premiership Rugby announced on Friday there would be no relegation from the English top-flight at the end of the current season.

A moratorium on relegation for the 2020/21 campaign has been approved by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

Promotion into the Premiership remains for the winner of the second-tier Championship, meaning the competition will be expanded 13 teams next season.

The RFU said the move had been made as a result of the disruptive effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the cancellation of a series of matches.

"These cancellations have resulted in a material impact on league positions which could mean relegation based on cancellation not on-field merit," it said in a statement.

Darren Childs, chief executive of Premiership Rugby, welcomed the decision.

"The priority for everyone involved has been to protect the long-term sustainability and success of English professional rugby for the fans and clubs who have endured huge financial and sporting challenges throughout the last two seasons," he said.

With only eight of the 22 rounds completed, traditional power Gloucester are bottom of the table.

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