The competition format is changing for 2023-24


The Premiership Rugby Cup will include all the Championship sides as the tournament takes on a new 24-team format next season

The sides will be split into four pools of six based on their 2022-23 league standings with the competition kicking off on the same day as the Rugby World Cup on 8 September.

The pool stages will take place over five consecutive weekends from that date with the semi-finals held on 9-11 February and the final taking place over the weekend of 15-17 March.

Read more: Rugby Fixtures

This year’s winners Exeter Chiefs will face a much tougher test to defend their title with double the competition after the RFU moved to renew old rivalries by bringing the Championship sides into the competition.

It will also provide second-tier newcomers Wasps with the opportunity to come up against their former Premiership opposition for the first time since the club went to the wall.

Read more: Wasps’ Championship place confirmed with RFU approval 

Phil Winstanley, Premiership Rugby’s Rugby Director, said: “It is many years since the Premiership and Championship Clubs clashed in a Cup competition. The Championship performs a crucial role within the English game and we’re looking forward to renewing some rivalries of old. With the Rugby World Cup taking place in France, this competition will no doubt provide the best, young English talent with an opportunity to stake a claim in squads before the start of the Gallagher Premiership campaign.”

Conor O’Shea, RFU Executive Director of Performance Rugby, said: “We’re really pleased to confirm that next season’s Premiership Cup will include both the Premiership and Championship clubs and are excited to see this new format come to fruition and form part of the longer-term solution for the game.

Steve Lloyd, Chair of the Championship Clubs Committee, said: “The new Cup format is the result of great collaboration between the Championship, RFU and Premiership Rugby.  The clubs are delighted with the opportunity a different format brings as well as the experience of playing Premiership sides and the opportunity to welcome new fans into our clubs and grow our audiences.”

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