Championship clubs given green light for promotion
May 9, 2014
All four Championship clubs battling for promotion will be eligible to compete in the Aviva Premiership next season after the Rugby Football Union declared their stadiums fit for purpose.
The RFU had ordered an independent audit of Bristol, Leeds Carnegie, London Welsh and Rotherham Titans to ensure they met the requirements for promotion to the Premiership, based on the 'Minimum Standards Criteria' (MSC).
A club must satisfy the lengthy list of criteria to take their place in the Premiership, primarily ensuring they are able to play home matches in a stadium of at least 10,000 capacity. This is often the main sticking point of the MSC, but the RFU found that Bristol's Ashton Gate, Leeds' Headingley Carnegie Stadium, London Welsh's Kassam Stadium, and Rotherham Titans' Oakwell Stadium all met the standards needed to host Premiership rugby.
Rotherham have agreed a groundshare deal with Barnsley Football Club should they return to the Premiership for the first time since 2004, while Bristol will move in with Bristol City next season.
Bristol take on Rotherham in the first Championship play-off on Saturday, with Leeds hosting London Welsh on Sunday. The winners of the final will replace Worcester Warriors in the Premiership next season.
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