Championship and League 1 clubs set for crunch talks

A forum involving all Championship and League 1 clubs will take place today in what is set to be a pivotal meeting regarding the future of both competitions.

Clubs will discuss the viability of the two divisions returning or whether the season should be null and void.

Though a final decision is not expected to be made today, the outcome of the forum will be the clearest indication yet as to whether second and third-tier rugby will be played again this year.

The two seasons have been suspended since March and there has been continued concern the costs and logistics will prove too challenging to allow them to return.

Two working groups have been meeting regularly to work out the challenges, and how they can be nullified. The findings of their work will be presented at today’s meeting and then up for discussion.

A good proportion of the 25 clubs are keen for the season to be scrapped but several clubs, including Leigh, Featherstone and Newcastle, are adamant it can, and should, return.

Derek Beaumont and Mark Campbell, the owner and chairman of Leigh and Featherstone respectively, have been critical of the RFL throughout the process, accusing them of using delay tactics and scaremongering techniques to put a block on a return.

The pair believe the governing body do not want a resumption as it would put pressure on them to make a decision on promotion and relegation, with Super League adamant that relegation cannot take place.