2017/2018 Greene King IPA Championship Fixtures Confirmed

League Fixtures

Friday 9th June 2017

 
 

2017/2018 Greene King IPA Championship Fixtures Confirmed

Preparations for the upcoming season in the Greene King IPA Championship are now underway with the 2017/18 fixtures released today.
 
The competition will be played over 22 rounds, beginning the first weekend of September and culminating on the last weekend in April next year.
 
For the first time since its inception there will be no end-of-season play-offs between the top four teams.
 
From next season, the club that finishes top of the table will be crowned the winner of the Greene King IPA Championship and will be promoted into Premiership Rugby the following season if they satisfy the Minimum Standards Criteria of the top club competition in England.
 
Despite earning promotion to the Premiership in the 2015/16 play-offs, Bristol Rugby will return to the competition following a 36-21 defeat to Wasps at Ashton Gate in April. They will face debutants Hartpury College in the opening round of next season's Greene King IPA Championship following Hartpury's promotion from National League One earlier this year.
 
The Gloucestershire side defeated Old Albanians 57-21 in the final but had already won the league with five matches still to play having remained undefeated all season.
 
This season's runners up, Yorkshire Carnegie will face London Scottish in Richmond in their season opener. Bryan Redpath's side suffered a 55-48 defeat to London Irish in the second leg of the play-off final last month.
 
Elsewhere in the competition, Jersey Reds will host Doncaster Knights who secured their top-four spot following a narrow 24-20 win when the two sides last met in April, and Ealing Trailfinders will welcome the Cornish Pirates to Richmond.
 
Rotherham Titans will travel to Lady Bay Sports Ground for their season opener against Nottingham while Richmond kick-off their campaign away to Bedford Blues.
 
Commenting ahead of the 2017/18 season, Chairman of the Greene King IPA Championship, Geoff Irvine, said: "As we continue with our planning and preparation for next season it's clear that there's a great deal to be excited about.
 
"With next season being the first one without the play-offs - which have been replaced by a new prize money incentive - the competition among teams will be as high as ever as they look to play for their stake in the winning fund and secure their position in the league at the end of the season.”

 
Head of Professional Rugby at the Rugby Football Union, Nigel Melville, added: "Next season will be an exciting one for the Greene King IPA Championship. We have been working alongside the clubs to identify positive opportunities to develop and grow the competition.
 
"With more movement of Elite Academy Players now available across the top three tiers of the game, we hope to see an rising number of young academy players playing Championship rugby next season.
 
"We have also been working behind the scenes to provide the Championship with increased marketing, taking the competition to a wider audience.”