Future Competitions Structure (FCS) Recommendations
The FCS work has been carried out by a small group over the last 18 months and has involved extensive consultation with the game.
More recently, Council members had the opportunity to attend informal webinars to discuss the detail and there has been some adjustment to the proposals as a result of concerns raised.
There is supporting material including a blueprint narrative, league / cup models
The league structure models at Level 7 and below were refreshed from previous proposals, addressing Council Members’ feedback.
- The target date for FCS implementation is season 2022/23
- The size of leagues at Levels 5 and below to be capped at 12, and at Levels 3 & 4 to be capped at 14
- At all levels there will be a protected two-week break over the Christmas period and protected weekend breaks (at points to be determined through the season)
- National knockout cups will be introduced (per level) from level 5 down with optional entry for teams
- A rapid review of competition structures will take place every three years
The Final recommendations are:
1. That, from season 2022/23, the English Clubs Championship at Level 3 and below will consist of:
a. One league at Level 3
b. Three leagues at Level 4
c. Six leagues at Level 5
d. 12 leagues at Level 6
e. approximately 16 leagues at Level 7*
f. approximately 20 leagues at Level 8*
g. Level 9 and below will be determined by the relevant organising committee with the exact number of leagues to be determined by final size of leagues, number of team entries and local need.
2. At all levels, leagues would be organised aligned to the key principles of minimising travel, player welfare/need, quality of competition and club sustainability and that at Level 4 to 6 this would be implemented on a regional basis, whereas at Level 7 and below this would be implemented on broadly a Constituent Body basis
3. From season 2022/23, cup rugby will be delivered after the league season
4. From season 2022/23, lower XV teams will be able to play in the English Clubs Championship up to and including Level 7.
Please consider the proposals and the accompanying documents and let me have your views, in writing by email (not by telephone please) by midnight this Thursday 15 April 2021.
RFU Council Member for Leicestershire and Rutland