LONDON Welsh have vowed to fight the RFU's decision that they will not be eligible to be promoted to the Aviva Premiership should they win the Championship final.
The Old Deer Park club are set to win the two-legged final, having taken a first leg lead at the Cornish Pirates, going into tomorrow's second leg at Old Deer Park.
But unless the RFU has a change of heart, Welsh will be denied promotion and Newcastle will receive a reprieve from relegation.
A club spokesman said: “The club firmly believes that it has met the Minimum Standards Criteria (MSC) for promotion to the Aviva Premiership, particularly the issue of primacy of tenure, and has reaffirmed its belief in this respect in a detailed communication to the RFU.
“The club is especially disappointed in this regard as a firm binding agreement, subject only to promotion to the Premiership, has already been concluded with Kassam Stadium, a ground with facilities the club believes to be at least the equal of many other grounds already hosting Premiership rugby, and which itself hosted a Rugby Union Challenge Cup final only a few years ago.
“The club also notes that if promoted, it would share its ground with a club from the FA, in common with other Premiership Clubs (such as London Irish, Sale, Wasps and Saracens). It is not clear why an exception made in the case of at least four top flight clubs (a third of the total) might not now be extended to a fifth.
“Notwithstanding the decision by the RFU, London Welsh will continue to do its best both on and off the pitch in serving the best interests of the club and maintaining the values and principles it has and will always adhere to.
“This includes giving of our very best on the pitch against the Cornish Pirates, as well as exploring all possible avenues off the pitch to ensure that if successful in winning the Championship, London Welsh will take its rightful place in the top flight of English rugby.”