Championship play-offs to be simplified
ESPN Staff
May 17, 2012
Former Ospreys head coach Lyn Jones, April 6, 2008
Lyn Jones has lead London Welsh side to the Championship final, where they will meet Cornish Pirates © Getty Images

The Rugby Football Union has decided to alter the Championship promotion and relegation play-offs for next season after coming under fire for the system this year, BBC Sport reports.

The top four teams will reportedly now play a two-legged semi-final, before a two-legged final to decide on who goes up, while the bottom side will automatically be relegated to the third tier.

Under the current system the top eight teams are divided into two groups, while the bottom-four form a relegation play-off group. It was designed to give the clubs extra matches and greater revenue, but came under fire as it rendered the 22 regular season matches largely irrelevant and didn't give clubs enough time to plan for the following season.

This year London Welsh will play Cornish Pirates in the play-off final. End-of-season league leaders Bristol fell to the Pirates in the semi-final after they were forced to play a further six matches to reach the last four.

"We've got the system changed and I was one of the main lobbyists for that," Bristol chairman Chris Booy told BBC Points West. "I think it will prepare us better because we can manage our squad to be in peak condition for the semis and final."

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