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Postpone league plans, says Hill

Launceston RFC
Launceston could find it harder to return to the second tier

Launceston joint-head coach Jon Hill has said plans to bring in a new league structure in English rugby must not come into effect next season.

The plans, which are being put before the Rugby Football Union Council, call for National One to be cut to 12 teams and re-named 'the Championship'.

Only the winners of National Two, Launceston's league, would be promoted.

"The timing of all this is not right because you've only got five months to integrate a whole change," Hill said.

Under the new plans the bottom five teams in National One, which Launceston played in last season, would be relegated to an enlarged third tier.

The plan would lead to more of the remaining clubs in the second tier becoming more professional.

It would take rugby to a new level and there is a niche for a second tier professional game but I wouldn't want it at this stage

Jon Hill

And Hill added: "Common sense needs to prevail as clubs don't want this change this year but I think the proposal in itself is absolutely fine.

"Even in our current position it's going to be good for the game but there are still too many question marks.

"It would take rugby to a new level and there is a niche for a second tier professional game but I wouldn't want it at this stage because I don't think it's financially sustainable.

"What sort of gates will people be gaining? Look at clubs like Nottingham who are only getting 1,000 or so to watch and there's ample evidence to suggest that we're not quite ready for it.

"Unless it boosts gates at each fixture I'm not sure how they will sustain full-time rugby with, in theory, a small increase in central funding."



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