Promotion blow for Welsh
Newcastle set to avoid the drop
Last Updated: 05/07/12 5:13pm
London Welsh have been dealt a massive blow ahead of their RFU Championship final against the Cornish Pirates with the news that they will not be granted promotion should they win.
The Exiles were confident that they had everything in place to secure their place in the top-flight should they overcome the Pirates over two legs.
However the Rugby Football Union's board of directors has revealed that the club have failed to meet the "Minimum Standards Criteria" required for promotion.
And with the Pirates opting against undergoing the independent audit required for promotion, the decision means neither side in the play-off final can go up - so Newcastle will avoid the drop.
A statement from the RFU read: "The independent auditors identified various failures, including not having Primacy of Tenure at their nominated ground. This states that 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 ratified the findings and 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, who face the Pirates at Mennaye Field on Wednesday night in the first leg, do have the right to appeal - and have two weeks to do so should they wish to contest the decision.
Newcastle Falcons commercial director Duncan Edward commented: "To be given the lifeline of playing in the Aviva Premiership next season and keeping top-class rugby in the region is unbelievable."