The start of the Greene King IPA Rugby Championship season has finally been set for 6th March 2021 with the twelve team division being split into two pools of six which will produce ten rounds of fixtures before a two-legged playoff final to determine the winner.
Nottingham have been paired in Conference B with Ealing Trailfinders, Coventry, Bedford, Doncaster and Richmond whilst the other group, Conference A includes Saracens, Cornish Pirates, Ampthill, Jersey Reds, London Scottish and Hartpury.
The club state “Given the possibility of no crowds being allowed for some of the season, and wishing to take Championship rugby to a wider audience, it is hoped to stream as many of the matches as possible.
“As a result of Championship clubs having little or no income for the last nine months the majority do not have the financial ability to meet the costs of Covid testing required under the elite sport framework. The clubs have, therefore, been in regular dialogue with the RFU to consider options and solutions to conclude the season.
“The clubs have chosen not to return to play under adapted laws and the March start date allows time for clubs to gain clarity from Sport England regarding the Sport Winter Survival Package before starting pre-season training.
“All Championship clubs are unanimously behind the intended competition as outlined, but require some weeks of full training, to make squads “match ready”, subsequent to the long absence of competitive rugby.”
The winning team in the final playoff will be promoted to the Gallagher Premiership ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
*Main image @NottinghamRugby it’s hoping business as usual (at last) from March 6th.