Newcastle Falcons promotion back to the Gallagher Premiership has been confirmed by the RFU.
The decision came as the RFU decided to end the season due to the Coronavirus, and enforcing a “best-playing record formula” to decide the standings.
With the Falcons winning all of their 15 games this season, and 18 points ahead of second place Ealing, they looked set to win the league before the RFU’s ruling.
And Falcons chairman Semore Kurdi admits that the situation has taken the shine off the celebrations:
“These aren’t the circumstances under which any team would want to be promoted, but we thank the RFU for reaching a quick and decisive conclusion”, said Kurdi.
“We fully appreciate the bigger picture with regards to the ongoing pandemic, and how sport pales into insignificance during times of national emergency.
“With that in mind there is no real sense of celebration at the confirmation of our promotion – our thoughts just go out to everyone who has been affected by the whole situation.”
The Falcons will replace Saracens in the Premiership after their relegation was confirmed earlier in the year due to their persistent breach of salary cap rules.
The formula has also confirmed Yorkshire Carnegie’s relegation as they collected just two points over the course of the season.
RFU President Peter Wheeler said that the decisions made provide “fair and balanced for the game” while maintaining the “integrity of the competitions.”
“This has been a difficult decision to make in the most unprecedented of circumstances. There is no single solution that will suit every club, but the approach taken is one that we believe best reflects the nature of league rugby in England”, he added.