An update has been given about the future of Tier 2 rugby in Cornwall, writes Phil Westren and Emma Ferguson. 

The Championship Clubs Committee (CCC) met last week to hear an update from their Executive on progress made in discussions about establishing a new second tier.

Ensuring a “robust promotion and relegation system” in the future has been described as a “priority” for discussions.

Funding is also a major issue, with second tier sides seeing the money they get from the Rugby Football Union reduced from £650,000 to £150,000.

Paul Durkin, chairman of the Cornish Pirates, previously told Radio Cornwall that clubs like the Pirates would need to be fully professional in the second tier as “there are not the jobs around that would sustain a semi-professional side unlike places such as London,” and described the reduction in funding as “a big, big hit.”

At one point there had been a deadline of March 31 for the selection of clubs for a second tier. However, that deadline was scrapped some time ago and there are currently a series of important and intensive discussions going on around the league, which will now be launched for the 2025/26 season.

Those discussions, between the CCC, the RFU and, where relevant, Premiership Rugby Ltd, cover all the basic points needed to establish a new Tier 2, and for the security and planning necessary to the current Championship clubs.

There is no deadline for these discussions, although the committee said it was important that an agreement was reached as quickly as possible, so that planning for both the new Tier 2 league and for the 2024/25 season can begin.

Simon Halliday, chairman of the Championship Clubs Committee, said: “Solid progress has been made on the various issues being discussed. The parties involved believe that an agreement is within reach, although some very important topics still need to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion for all the parties.

“These are vital discussions and are taking place in an intensive, progressive and co-operative atmosphere.

“No doubt, when outstanding issues are resolved, a public statement will be made, but in the meantime, please be assured that the future of Championship clubs and the interests of those who aspire to join the second tier of our game are being given the priority they deserve by all of us involved.”