UPDATE: London Welsh promoted after winning appeal – RFU and Newcastle Statements

London Welsh have WON their appeal and will now be promoted to the Aviva Premiership for next season, with Newcastle Falcons relegated. Full story to come.

RFU Statement: London Welsh’s appeal against the decision that the club failed to meet the Minimum Standards Criteria, set out by the Professional Game Board, for promotion to the Aviva Premiership has been upheld by an independent panel. As a result, London Welsh are promoted to the Aviva Premiership and Newcastle Falcons relegated to the RFU Championship.

Newcastle Falcons Statement: We are extremely disappointed with the decision and the representations witnessed at the appeal hearing and we will leave our options open as to where we go from here.

In this new era everyone at the club will be committed to delivering a successful future and a first class experience at Kingston Park. After the disappointment of the decision coming out of the appeal hearing in London, we implore the region to get behind the club to prove what a wonderful and passionate region we are for rugby.

The last time the club was in a similar situation in 1996/97 we bounced straight back and won the Allied Dunbar Premiership trophy in 1997/98 and it is our ambition to replicate similar success.

We do not underestimate the competitiveness and challenges we face in the Championship but under the tutelage of Dean Richards we will have one, and only one goal – to win. Dean has been in this situation with Harlequins and he understands what it takes to navigate through the Championship, whilst putting together a team that will be successful with immediate effect on our return to the Aviva Premiership.

Winning rugby will be a habit at the Falcons and we expect to bring attacking and exciting play for our fans to enjoy. Add some semi-finals, finals and trophies to the mix and it will be a season to remember.

As a club rich in Premiership history and tradition we urge all of the region’s public, businesses and corporate bodies to get right behind the team and show the rest of rugby a message from this region.

Many of you have already committed for 2012-13, and for that we thank you. For all of you who are still wondering what you should do, commit to the Falcons, join the journey now and have the pride in being able to say “I was there at the new beginning.”

15 thoughts on “UPDATE: London Welsh promoted after winning appeal – RFU and Newcastle Statements

  1. London Welsh! lol

    Maybe there should be a London Norfolk, or a London Cumbria or London Yorkshire next. That name should be changed.

      1. In case the original comment wasn’t meant to be sarcastic … you do realise what “London Welsh/Irish/Scottish” means, don’t you? London Cumbria wouldn’t make sense, but London Cumbrians might, for example… I mean, there is a large history behind these teams, an important one that may sound as if it is being dismissed here, but maybe I misunderstood your comment…

  2. Whilst i think its good news that they have been rewarded for their efforts on the pitch and i feel it crucial to the development of the Championship. However, it would be interesting to find out whether they have the ultimate plan of returning back to West London. With Wycombe just down the road form Oxford there is surely only room for one Premiership team in that region as the fan base can only be so big. Seeing as Wasps are a number of years ahead of them, it seems that London Welsh should seek a return back to West London, or alternatively, look for a new geographical location to settle. Brentford are set to build a new Stadium in the coming years and it seems that a race is on between London Welsh, Wasps and even London Scottish to co-exist with them. A return back to London, financially if nothing else makes sense as Saracens have finally realised.

    Equally, they must now strengthen their squad with a calibre of players that can handle premiership rugby and survive in the premiership. With the majority of contract negotiations taking players at the start of the year, it would appear that they will have to make do with free agents and what they already have. Tom Voyce is out of contract and would be a very good signing both as a player and as an experienced head within the squad.

    Either way, London Welsh have their work cut out to survive and the hard work now begins. But good luck to them.

  3. Looking at the squad they have and the fact that the players who carried them to the premiership were all on loan from premiership sides, they look set to be destroyed all season. Imagine a team like Leicester rolling up to play oxford welsh. Think its ridiculous that the north of England has lost out once again, not only to a London team when there are already four successful London clubs in the premiership, but to a team that isn’t even affiliated with the rfu. At least falcons have their own stadium compared to that joke the kassam, soon England will be playing all their games at Stamford bridge because no one appears to give a toss about having a home fortress.

    1. But that’s not the point is it. It doesn’t matter about the quality of the squad – you finished bottom, you’re relegated. You win the league below, you come up. Geography is irrelevant.

      1. They didn’t win the league below, they were fourth in the Championship . How many of their supporters will opt to travel the 55 + miles from Richmond to Oxford ? Will they become Oxford Welsh ? Sorry, I would not have had a problem with a Bristol promotion. However, LW only intimated their intention to seek promotion when they realised they were in with a shout . Only the well heeled hierarchy will be in a position to support them. It should be noted this was a decision founded in the legalities of EU Law .

        1. Winning the league = winning the playoffs, no? For league read Championship. Bristol may have finished 1st but as we know that doesn’t mean you go up.

          1. The whole point is that London Welsh have no infrastructure of any sorts and basically have no future in the premiership. They will be relegated next year and probably won’t come back up for another 5+ years.

          2. But Newcastle are only in the league because of the RFU’s, and some initial rich benefactors, hopes of getting rugby union embedded into the potentially rich pickings of sports mad North Easterners? Why should some desire to spread the game around the country preclude the team that won the championship from being promoted? If Newcastle were any good they would not have been relegated. They have bobbled along the bottom of it for years – this is either their wake up call or the start of oblivion but if it is oblivion at least it will be for rugby reasons.

            We hear a lot about how the CL teams have it easy in the HC because of lack of relegation but it did seem that relegation in the PL was threatening to silently go away unless you had the money to buy a fancy stand. Great to see London Welsh sorting that out.

          3. One last thing … I had the misfortune to travel to Bristol when they played Cardiff in the HC a few years ago. Their stadium is antiquated and policed by football-loving dictatorial stewards*. Worst traveling rugby experience I have ever had, so the idea that their facilities are up to premiership standard is laughable.

            *by this I mean they were hostile to visiting fans, wanted to corral us into away-specific areas, sold us all the rubbish seats, etc.

  4. I guess I’m just bitter now that I have a three hour plus drive for Prem rugby when it used to be 20 minutes. In a league structure that is based on relegation it was the right decision, but the premiership has lost the club which nurtured wilko, flood, parling, dowson, miller, young. Then again it appears the falcons are used to breed players for the richer clubs to lure away with bigger pay cheques.

    1. That’s all relative – the Falcons themselves signed a fair few players from less well off clubs, so they’re seen in some corners as one of those rich clubs poaching players developed by the less well off – Scott MacLeod, Rory Lawson this year, going back to Heyman, Ally Hogg, Felipo Levi…

      I sympathise with your plight though but as I said on another thread about this promotion the English league is based on money, not nurturing the game, so it’s not right to block London Welsh once that is the way the league is setup.

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