Sheffield Eagles will have the chance to earn automatic promotion to the Super League after rugby league’s new structure from 2015 was outlined.
The Super League and the Championship will each have 12 teams with 14 clubs in a renamed League 1, the governing body the RFL confirmed.
Under the new structure teams in the Super League and Championship will play 23 games – home and away plus a round in the Magic Weekend (SL clubs) or Summer Bash (Championship).
At the end of the regular season Super League and the Championship will split into Super 8s – three groups of eight, based on their final league positions, which will determine promotion and relegation. The top eight in the Super League are guaranteed top flight status the following season.
The target for the Eagles and Doncaster will be to finish in the Championship top four to join the bottom four Super League clubs in the middle ‘Qualifiers’ group.
In the Qualifiers, the top three clubs after seven matches will play in Super League the following season with the final place determined by a play-off between the clubs finishing fourth and fifth.
The loser of the match will join the three remaining clubs from the Qualifiers and six Championship Shield clubs in the Championship the following season with two teams promoted from League 1.
Eagles have a change to consolidate their place in the top six in the Championship when they face Batley Bulldogs at Owlerton on Sunday (kick-off 2pm).
They go into the game on the back of two wins and beat Batley 16-12 earlier in the season.
Aston said: “We are getting a little bit better but we can’t get carried away with ourselves.”
“We have nothing to fear, it’s all about what we do. We have been soft but if we go out with the right attitude it means we could win all the last (league) games – I’ve always said that.”
Halifax and former Eagles’ winger Rob Worrincy’s ban for betting has been extended from six to nine months after a failed appeal.