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Fixtures for the 2023-24 RFU Championship league season have been confirmed.
The league competition will be played over 22 rounds, beginning over the weekend of 20-22 October, with the final round scheduled for the weekend of 24-26 May next year. A two-leg play-off for promotion to the Premiership will then take place on the weekends of 31 May-2 June and 7-9 June between the top placed team in the Championship (provided it meets the minimum standards criteria) and the last placed team in the Premiership.
The league will consist of 12 teams in the upcoming season after Cambridge RUFC secured promotion to the Championship for topping National 1.
2022-23 season league winners Jersey Reds kick off their first match at home to Coventry and newcomers Cambridge take on Ampthill away in their first-round game. Ealing Trailfinders who finished second in the league last season, play Bedford at Goldington Road, while elsewhere in the competition Doncaster Knights face Hartpury at home, Caldy play Nottingham at Paton Field and London Scottish travel to the South-West to face Cornish Pirates.
The pool stages of the Premiership Cup, in which Championship sides will play this season, will kick off the season starting on the weekend of 8-10 September with the semi-finals held between 16-18 February and the final over the weekend of 15-17 March. The fixture details for the Cup will be announced soon.
RFU director of performance rugby Conor O’Shea added: “The 2022-23 season finale went down the wire with only two points ultimately separating the top two teams in the table, showcasing the drama of the Championship, and we can expect more of the same in the upcoming season.
“We’re really pleased to welcome Cambridge, who had a fantastic season in National 1, and will be a great addition to the Championship.”
Championship committee chairman, Simon Halliday, said: “This is a hugely important year for all Championship clubs, and I wish each of them the very best for the coming season.
“I would particularly like to welcome Cambridge who achieved a wonderful promotion and I know that they will add greatly to the league as did Caldy last year.
“As the incoming chairman I look forward to helping build on the work already done as the English game looks towards the future and a sustainable recovery.”
To see the full RFU Championship fixture list click here. [link to fixtures on ER.com]
For more information visit www.championshiprugby.co.uk or @champrugby
NB: All kick-off times and match dates to be confirmed by the clubs.
The Fixture List, as it presently stands, for Friendly, Premiership Cup and Championship League home and away games is as below.
It is important to note that it is only a general guide.
An official update to provide further information on the Cup Fixtures is awaited, whilst the Cornish Pirates have at present just chosen the days when they expect to play their home league games. News will follow from opposition teams with their choice of weekend dates (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday), as will kick-off times for all matches to be played.
Friendly 1 – Saturday 19th August
Cornish Pirates v Plymouth Albion – ko 2.30pm
Friendly 2 – Saturday 26th August
Plymouth Albion v Cornish Pirates – ko 3pm
Cup Round 1 – weekend Saturday 9th September
Cup Round 2 – weekend Saturday 16th September
Cup Round 3 – weekend Saturday 23rd September
Cup Round 4 – weekend Saturday 30th September
Cup Round 5 – weekend Saturday 7th October
League Round 1 – Saturday 21st October
Cornish Pirates v London Scottish – ko TBC
League Round 2 – Saturday 28th October
Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues – ko TBC
League Round 3 – weekend Saturday 4th November
Jersey Reds v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Weekend 11th November – A ‘Reserve’ Weekend
Round 4 – Saturday 18th November
Cornish Pirates v Caldy – ko TBC
Round 5 – weekend Saturday 25th November
Ampthill v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Round 6 – Sunday 3rd December
Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights – ko TBC
Weekend 9th December – A ‘Reserve’ Weekend
Round 7 – weekend Saturday 16th December
Ealing Trailfinders v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Round 8 – Saturday 23rd December
Cornish Pirates v Hartpury – ko TBC
Weekend 30th December – A Free Weekend
Weekend 6th January – A ‘No Rugby’ Weekend
Round 9 – weekend Saturday 13th January
Cambridge v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Round 10 – Saturday 20th January
Cornish Pirates v Nottingham – ko TBC
Round 11 – weekend Saturday 27th January
Coventry v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Round 12 – weekend Saturday 3rd February
Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Weekend 10th February – A ‘Reserve’ Weekend
Saturday 17th February – Cup Semi-Final
Round 13 – Friday 23rd February
Cornish Pirates v Jersey Reds – ko TBC
Round 14 – weekend Saturday 2nd March
Caldy v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Round 15 – Sunday 10th March
Cornish Pirates v Ampthill – ko TBC
Weekend 16th March – Cup Final
Round 16 – weekend Saturday 23rd March
Doncaster Knights v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Weekend 30th March – A ‘No Rugby’ Weekend
Round 17 – Friday 5th April
Cornish Pirates v Ealing Trailfinders – ko TBC
Round 18 – weekend Saturday 13th April
Hartpury v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Round 19 – Sunday 21st April
Cornish Pirates v Cambridge – ko TBC
Weekend 27th April – A ‘Reserve’ Weekend
Round 20 – weekend Saturday 4th May
Nottingham v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Round 21 – Saturday 11th May
Cornish Pirates v Coventry – ko TBC
Weekend 18th May – A ‘Reserve’ Weekend
Round 22 – weekend Saturday 25th May
London Scottish v Cornish Pirates – ko TBC
Weekend 1st June – Play-Off (1st Leg)
Weekend 8th June – Play-Off (2nd Leg)
For regularly updated information please visit www.cornish-pirates.com