RFL confirm play-off structure for 2021

Doncaster RLFC will again need to finish in the top six to qualify for the Betfred League One promotion play-offs, it has been confirmed.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 10:21 pm
The Dons start their new season on May 9. Photo: Rob Terrace

The team finishing top of the table will earn automatic promotion, while teams finishing second to sixth will play in a five-team play-off series culminating in a promotion play-off final.

Clubs will be required to have played 70 per cent of their league fixtures to be eligible for the play-offs.

Doncaster will start their League One campaign at Keighley on Sunday, May 9.

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Prior to the cancelled 2020 season, the Dons have reached the play-offs every year since their relegation from the Championship in 2015.

They finished fourth in 2019 before losing to Newcastle Thunder in the preliminary final. The year before they finished third but then lost to Workington Town.

The bottom two teams in the Betfred Championship will be relegated – irrespective of how many fixtures they have played.

League positions will be determined by points percentage. This is to allow for the possibility of teams being forced to withdraw from fixtures because of Covid-19 – they will be allowed to do so if seven or more players are ruled out either after testing positive, or as close contacts of a positive test following test and trace analysis.

The RFL and clubs will attempt to rearrange postponed fixtures where possible, but there are very limited opportunities to do this given the delayed start to the season, and the impracticality of midweek fixtures.