The Cornish Pirates must have a stadium capacity of at least 5,000 with plans to upgrade to 10,001 should they want to earn promotion to the Premiership according to the latest agreement from the Professional Game Board.

The board met to agree the Minimum Standards Criteria for the 2022-23 season which included requirements clubs need to fulfil to earn promotion to the Premiership from the Championship.

As a result of the meeting it was agreed that in January 2023 a club must have a capacity of at least 5,000 alongside planning permission and funding to upgrade the ground to a capacity of at least 10,001.

Time will be permitted for clubs to carry out these works. At the start of the 2023-24 season a club must have a capacity of 5,000 and it has been agreed that there will be additional time for a club to build up to a capacity of 10,001 by the start of the 2024-25 campaign with a full statutory general certificate.

Phil de Glanville, PGB Chair said: “It remains the view of the PGB that a minimum grounds capacity of 10,001 is important due of the rigour of the Local Authority issued safety certificate for stadia of this size in addition to its importance for fans, sponsors and broadcasters.

"We recognise the challenges of achieving promotion and sustaining the club once in the Premiership and want to support Championship clubs with a transition season to allow Championship clubs more time to achieve the 10,001 capacity criteria once in the Premiership.”

As it stands the Pirates' current home, the Mennaye Field in Penzance has a capacity of 4000.

Their ambitions of moving to the Stadium for Cornwall were set back when Cornwall Council revealed in June 2022 that it had withdrew the prospective ground from its levelling up programme.

The Pirates have previously stated their aims to target the top flight by saying in March this year: "Cornwall can support a Premiership Rugby Club and Premiership want a Cornish side in the Premiership. Our plan is to make that happen."

The Pirates finished third in the RFU Championship last season and got their 2022-23 campaign off to a perfect start with a 21-14 win over Richmond last Friday.

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