The changes for the 2022/23 season have been summarised in the table below with the key changes for reference below.
- Premiership (Level 1)
- Championship (Level 2)
- One league at National 1 (formerly Level 3)
- Three leagues at National 2 (formerly Level 4)
- Six leagues at Regional 1 (formerly Level 5) (DKRFC)
- Twelve leagues at Regional 2 (formerly Level 6)
- Eighteen leagues at Counties 1 (formerly Level 7)
- Twenty four leagues at Counties 2 (formerly Level 8)
- Thirty seven leagues at Counties 3 - 5 (formerly Level 9 and below)
* All cups to take place post-season with mid-season entry
**Dependent on new entries
***League size flexible depending on the effect of regionalisation and local need
MAP of the new League 'Regional 1 Midlands' at the bottom of the page
Adult Male League Rugby for 2022 onwards
A flattening of the pyramid (increasing the number of leagues at each level, as below) will help meet the needs of players by reducing travel for matches, helping club sustainability by reducing travel costs. The geographical grouping meanwhile will bring back, and in some cases introduce more, local derbies, which will attract more attention to games.
All leagues have been grouped geographically. Whilst there will still be some outliers, overall there will be reduced travel time and distances across the whole structure.
The 2022/23 season will also deliver a shortened league season, addressing concerns shared by players around the intensity of the current league structure. Regional 1 (formerly Level 5) and below will see the introduction of a new National cup competition at the end of the season with optional entry to the different tiers dependent on closing league position. This format is designed to remove the conflict of league and cup fixtures within the season, to maintain a variety of competition offering and to provide an exciting finale to the community rugby season, with finals days at leading rugby venues.
To help clubs plan for the 2022/2023 season and beyond, we have outlined what clubs might require at each level. We hope this will help clubs prepare for their current level and give an idea of what to expect for those aspiring to play at higher levels in the future.
In the images below, you can see different levels have been grouped to represent national, regional and county levels.