Championship Cup competition announced
22 Jun 2018

The launch of a new domestic competition – the Championship Cup – which will come into action next season has been announced.

Following the decision of the Championship clubs to withdraw from the British & Irish Cup at the end of last season, for the next two seasons clubs will compete in the Championship Cup which follows a league cup format and encourages local derbies.

For its inaugural season, teams will be split into three pools based on clubs’ geographic locations and will play across six rounds.

The pool stage fixtures are scheduled in one block and will be played before Christmas allowing clubs to focus on the Championship Cup consistently over a six week period.

The top two teams from each pool together with the two best runners up across the three pools will all proceed to the quarter-finals which will be followed by the semi-finals and a final which will take place in May next year.

Pool 1 comprises of Coventry, Doncaster Knights, Nottingham and Yorkshire Carnegie, in Pool 2 Ealing Trailfinders will face Jersey, London Scottish and Richmond while Bedford Blues, Cornish Pirates, Hartpury and London Irish will form Pool 3.

“The Championship Cup will add an additional layer of competition and will also reignite old local rivalries which we’re really excited to see unfold,” said Greene King IPA Championship chairman Geoff Irvine.

RFU director of professional rugby, Nigel Melville, added: “The introduction of the Championship Cup competition next season is a positive step forward for our tier two clubs.

“We worked closely with the clubs to develop a competition that would encourage exciting local derbies and also give the clubs more game time outside of the 22 Championship rounds, which in turn will strengthen the development opportunities and competition among clubs in this country.”

Full season fixtures, can be found here.

Fixtures

Round 1

Doncaster Knights vs Coventry Pool 1

Yorkshire Carnegie vs Nottingham Pool 1

Ealing Trailfinders vs Jersey Reds Pool 2

London Scottish vs Richmond Pool 2

Cornish Pirates vs Bedford Blues Pool 3

Hartpury College vs London Irish Pool 3

Round 2

Coventry vs Yorkshire Carnegie Pool 1

Nottingham vs Doncaster Knights Pool 1

Jersey Reds vs London Scottish Pool 2

Richmond vs Ealing Trailfinders Pool 2

Bedford Blues vs Hartpury College Pool 3

London Irish vs Cornish Pirates Pool 3

Round 3

Coventry vs Nottingham Pool 1

Yorkshire Carnegie vs Doncaster Knights Pool 1

Jersey Reds vs Richmond Pool 2

London Scottish vs Ealing Trailfinders Pool 2

Cornish Pirates vs Hartpury College Pool 3

London Irish vs Bedford Blues Pool 3

Round 4

Doncaster Knights vs Yorkshire Carnegie Pool 1

Nottingham vs Coventry Pool 1

Ealing Trailfinders vs London Scottish Pool 2

Richmond vs Jersey Reds Pool 2

Bedford Blues vs London Irish Pool 3

Hartpury College vs Cornish Pirates Pool 3

Round 5

Coventry vs Doncaster Knights Pool 1

Nottingham vs Yorkshire Carnegie Pool 1

Jersey Reds vs Ealing Trailfinders Pool 2

Richmond vs London Scottish Pool 2

Bedford Blues vs Cornish Pirates Pool 3

London Irish vs Hartpury College Pool 3

Round 6

Doncaster Knights vs Nottingham Pool 1

Yorkshire Carnegie vs Coventry Pool 1

Ealing Trailfinders vs Richmond Pool 2

London Scottish vs Jersey Reds Pool 2

Cornish Pirates vs London Irish Pool 3

Hartpury College vs Bedford Blues Pool 3