The Rugby Football Union has set out its plans for a brand new Premiership and Championship cup competition which will include a raft of new rules.
The new domestic competition will include 20 Prmiership and Championship clubs (11 premiership, 9 championship) and is designed to run during the Autumn Internationals and Six Nations. The thought is that a competion reminisicent of the FA Cup in football will give Championship clubs much needed exposure and limit the time world stars are absent from Premiership games.
If the proposal is successful, the new competion will begin in the 2023/2024 season, with the possibility of the first round of games being held during the World Cup window.
One of the key individuals behind the plans is RFU director of performance, Conor O’Shea, who also outlined changes to the game which will be trailaed during the competion. It is unclear how the majority of these adaptions will be achived pratically, but O’Shea noted the following reforms:
- Incentivising tries scored from outside the opposition’s 22
- Reducing the amount of kick-tennis”
- Reducing the time wasted by reset scrums
- A sin-bin ‘Power Play’
The last point is of particular note – once a game the opposing team captain will be able to chose a player to spend 10 minutes in the sin bin. The captain can choose when to use this but will have the power to reduce their opponents to 14 men, without them being sent off by the ref. Quite the radical proposal!
For the new competion and rules to be confirmed, the plans will need to pass council approval from the RFU (25th January) and if successful then World Rugby.