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  1. Catherine Peel

London Welsh NOT eligible for promotion

The Rugby Football Union's board of directors have ruled that London Welsh have failed to meet the minimum standards criteria set for a place in the Aviva Premiership.

The team are not eligible for promotion after the report, carried out by independent auditors, identified various failures which involved not having tenure at their nominated Premiership ground - Oxford United's Kassam Stadium.

The RFU verdict was announced just six hours before London Welsh contest tonight's Championship final first leg against Cornish Pirates in Penzance, and means that Premiership bottom club Newcastle will retain their top-flight status next term subject to any successful London Welsh appeal.

a club must demonstrate that they can host home fixtures at the time stipulated by Premiership Rugby and/or the host broadcaster...The RFU board agreed, should London Welsh win the RFU Championship final following the second leg on May 30, they would not be eligible for promotion and Newcastle Falcons would remain in the Aviva Premiership.

London Welsh have the right to appeal and would be required to do so within 14 days of this decision.

– RFU directors

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