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RFU changes play-off final format

Rugby

The Rugby Football Union has changed the inaugural Championship play-off final format to a two-legged event, instead of a single game.

The final was due to be held at Twickenham on 8 May, but the league's clubs objected to this plan.

The new changes will have to be rubber-stamped by the RFU Council in January before the decision is made official.

The Championship replaced National One as the second-tier of English rugby earlier this year.

The 2010 season is the first time that promotion to the Premiership will be decided via a play-off system.

Exeter Chiefs chief executive Tony Rowe told BBC Sport: "I think it's a fantastic decision.

"The initial set up didn't pay justice to the fact that 12 teams will spend the season competing for the title, which then comes down to just one game."

RFU board chairman Martyn Thomas said: "We have listened to what the clubs want and there will therefore be a two-legged final with the winner decided on aggregate score.

"This will generate optimum revenue for the finalists and maximise attendances for what should be two great games."

606: DEBATE

The potential for increased revenue was echoed by Rowe, whose Exeter Chiefs side are one of the early favourites to make it all the way to the final.

Rowe said: "Over a two-legged final we would have capacity crowds and by having the finals played home and away those clubs have an opportunity to have a big pay day."

The top eight teams in the Championship at the end of the regular season in March will progress into the play-off structure.



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