The Greene King IPA Championship will continue with play-offs finals – for one more season, at least.
There has been a debate in recent months as to whether the competition should revert to the traditional first past the post method of attaining promotion, a process last used in 2009.
However, play-offs will carry on in 2016-17 with the format then to be negotiated between the Championship clubs, RFU and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) for the following campaign and beyond.
Doncaster Knights – who reached their maiden play-offs final in May – Yorkshire Carnegie and Rotherham Titans are the county’s clubs looking to challenge when the new season begins in September.
The play-offs news came as part of the new ‘Professional Game Agreement’, an eight-year deal worth in excess of £200m, between the Aviva Premiership clubs and Twickenham.
The England Elite Player Squad increases from 33 to 45 and head coach Eddie Jones can now name it in the first week of October instead of, as previously, late August.
Two extra training camps will be staged in an attempt to improve chances of success at the 2019 World Cup while the deal is valued at around £2m per club annually – twice as much as the previous arrangement.