Doncaster Knights set to discover Premiership promotion fate

Doncaster Knights and Ealing Trailfinders, who meet this weekend in a potential Championship title decider, are set to discover whether they will be eligible for promotion to the Premiership.

By Paul Goodwin
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 5:00 am
Doncaster Knights beat Ealing Trailfinders 22-5 at Castle Park earlier in the season. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD
Doncaster Knights beat Ealing Trailfinders 22-5 at Castle Park earlier in the season. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD

The Rugby Paper has reported that Doncaster and Ealing’s applications for promotion will be considered at an RFU Board of Directors meeting today.

Knights currently have a three-point lead at the top of the Championship but second-placed Ealing have two games in hand.

The two sides meet at Vallis Way in London on Saturday.

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Fellow title contenders Jersey Reds and Cornish Pirates did not apply for promotion.

Doncaster or Ealing will have to meet minimum standards criteria to be eligible to play top flight rugby next season.

Knights are reportedly proposing to achieve the required 10,000 ground capacity by installing temporary stands at Castle Park.

Meanwhile, Premiership clubs are understood to be applying pressure for any newcomers to the top division to stump up £25-£30million to buy P shares in the league.

According to reports, neither Doncaster or Ealing intend to buy P shares which would have an impact on the level of central funding they could then claim.

Last year plans were announced to expand the Premiership from 13 to 14 teams for the 2022/23 season.

Relegation from the top flight has also been put on hold until 2024 which means there will be no promotion from next season’s Championship.

Knights, who have just three games of the season remaining, came agonisingly close to reaching the Premiership in 2016 only to lose narrowly to Bristol in the two-legged play-off final.

The next season they reached the play-offs but, prior to the end of the campaign, announced they did not intend on going up to the Premiership.