Championship needs more RFU support

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gIF you have been watching the Championship matches that have been on Sky this season, you cannot fail to have been excited by the quality of some of the play and players.

With the exception of last Sunday’s match between Cornish Pirates and Rotherham Titans, where regretably our near neighbours were a bit off colour, there have been some really good games and a good showcase for the standard of rugby being played. Although the Knights have not featured on Sky this season, they too have been involved in some cracking games at Castle Park as well as at several away venues.

Unfortunately the RFU don’t seem to have grasped what is going on as we still have a Championship and a British & Irish Cup without a sponsor and 12 Championship clubs where the expectation is that we and our sponsors will fund full-time professional squads.

Within the past couple of days they have announced the appointment of a new Head of Media – Will Chignell from Sky - and we will all be looking at his arrival with interest to see what effect, if any, he has on the Championship. Regretably one cannot help but feel that this appointment is made with the Rugby World Cup 2015, to be held in England, in mind.

Within the next week or so we expect to receive the RFU’s proposals for the detailed structure of next season based on the outline we provided them with following our last Championship meeting which, in essence, is the same as this season.

Whilst this structure is not perfect, and there are two clubs in the Championship who believe we should go back to either a 14 or 16 team league, the RFU need to market the structure far better than they have been doing and we, as clubs, also need to get behind it. As long as clubs publicly denounce the current structure we are going to get nowhere.

I would feel more convinced about the RFU’s ability to resolve the problems if I felt that they knew what the problems actually were. Mr Chignell, there is plenty for you to do out there.

Last Saturday the Knights lost at home to Bedford by a single point, the visitors scoring a try in the final minute of the game.

This weekend the Knights play Bedford again, this time away at Goldington Road, and they will no doubt be looking to reverse the result.

However, Bedford have an enviable record on their home turf and it will be no walkover for the Knights even though they should have won last Saturday.