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FAQs

Premiership placings

In the case of equality at any stage of the season, positions at that stage of the season shall be determined firstly by the number of wins achieved and then on the basis of match points differential. A Club with a larger number of wins shall be placed higher than a Club with the same number of league points but fewer wins.

If clubs have equal league points and equal number of wins then a Club with a larger difference between match points “for” and match points “against” shall be placed higher in the Premiership League than a Club with a smaller difference between match points “for” and match points “against”.

Should two Clubs have the same number of league points and the same match points difference, the Club having scored more match points “for” shall be placed higher in the Premiership League than the Club having the lesser number of match points “for”.

If the above does not establish different Premiership League positions then the Club in the higher position shall be the Club that has achieved the higher aggregate match points scored by it in the same season against the other Club.

If this still does not establish the position then the Club who has won the most matches, excluding its first Premiership League match of the season, then its second Premiership League match and so on, until it can be established which the higher placed Club is.

Foreign players

The legal definition of foreign players is different to one of non-English players.

Bosman and Kolpak

The Bosman ruling reinforced the Treaty of Rome in a sporting context, allowing the free movement of EU national workers around other EU countries. This effectively means any EU national has the same rights as any ‘local’ worker and therefore cannot be defined as a foreigner.

Premiership rules

The rule on foreign players has been amended to come into line with the regulations in European competitions. A maximum of two foreign players can now be on the pitch at any one time, at all periods during the season.

The level of English Qualified Players (EQP) in the Premiership has been fairly consistent since the inception of the league, at around 61-63%. This means on average there is something like 165 English players playing every weekend in the Premiership.

Entry and ongoing criteria

Clubs wishing to play in the Premiership must fulfil a list of criteria set down by the Professional Game Board and agreed with the RFU Championship. This covers areas such as stadia, club administration and other key roles, community development programmes, ground tenure and ground moves, facilities, medical and safety, marketing, plans to increase attendances, adherence to the squad cap and playing and contractual commitments. The purpose of the minimum criteria is to set a standard for all clubs to operate by, which all will benefit from.

Disciplinary process

Breaches of discipline in Premiership matches and in the Anglo Welsh competition will be dealt with by the RFU disciplinary process. A full copy of the RFU disciplinary regulations is available on http://www.rfu.com/. Breaches of discipline in Heineken Cup or European Challenge Cup matches are dealt with by ERC under the terms of their participation agreement with the Premiership clubs.

Promotion / Relegation

Automatic promotion and relegation between the Premiership and the RFU Championship is enshrined in the eight year agreement signed between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premier Rugby Ltd (PRL) in 2007.

Promotion and relegation is however subject to the Minimum Standards Criteria being fulfilled by the club finishing top of the RFU Championship as outlined above.

Anti-doping education

Premiership Rugby condemns doping, which is the illegal use of prohibited substances and methods, as prescribed by the World Anti-Doping Code and Prohibited List, to enhance performance.

Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) work together against doping, including supporting the implementation of a comprehensive and effective anti-doping programme of education, testing and results management aimed at deterring and detecting doping.

In 2010, England became the first major rugby nation to implement an out of competition illicit drugs education, testing and rehabilitation programme.

This programme is designed to address the gap in WADA testing which does not test players for illicit drugs (cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy) on non-match days.

Players testing positive for illicit drugs will be offered education and counselling on the dangers of illicit drug use.

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