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Cambridge Rugby Club guaranteed at least two seasons in RFU Championship following confirmation of no relegation this campaign





‘A bit of pressure has been taken off’ Cambridge Rugby Club’s shoulders following confirmation that there will be no relegation from the RFU Championship this season.

It was confirmed in September that the previous campaign’s champions – Jersey Reds – had ceased trading and would therefore not be defending their crown in 2023/24.

And the RFU has now revealed that with just 11 teams competing in the division, demotion is off the cards this term.

Cambridge Rugby Club's Kwaku Asiedu in action against Doncaster Knights on October 28, 2023. Picture: Chris Fell
Cambridge Rugby Club's Kwaku Asiedu in action against Doncaster Knights on October 28, 2023. Picture: Chris Fell

It is welcome news for newly-promoted Cambridge, who can now look to establish themselves in the second tier.

Director of rugby and head coach Richie Williams said: “We came into this season knowing that we’ll have to manage our expectations and there will be some weeks that are going to be challenging.

“But a bit of pressure has been taken off with the news of no relegation.

Cambridge Rugby Club's Matt Hema in action against Doncaster Knights on October 28. Picture: Chris Fell
Cambridge Rugby Club's Matt Hema in action against Doncaster Knights on October 28. Picture: Chris Fell

“It allows us a season to have a really good look at things and we can perhaps accelerate certain plans we had.

“Of course we want to win as many games as possible and finish as far away from the bottom place as possible, but there is a bit more freedom now.

“We can look at some young players we believe will become very good Championship players and also rest some of our more experienced players to make sure we get the best out of them when it really matters.”

Williams was speaking after his side had been defeated 61-14 by Doncaster Knights last Saturday.

Eli Caven in action for Cambridge against Doncaster Knights on October 28, 2023. Picture: Chris Fell
Eli Caven in action for Cambridge against Doncaster Knights on October 28, 2023. Picture: Chris Fell

Cambridge headed into their first ever Championship fixture at Ellgia Fields in positive mood after their narrow defeat the previous weekend at Ampthill, but they were put the sword by their full-time visitors.

Williams said: “It was a combination of things. Firstly I think it must be said that Doncaster were excellent and you could see from the start of the season when we played them in the Premiership Cup that they have developed their game considerably and improved.

“But we also didn’t play to the levels that we’re capable of, particularly defensively where I didn’t feel we were aggressive enough.

“We definitely did not reach the same heights as we did at Ampthill the week before.

“At the same time it showed the difference between the full-time teams and the semi-professional sides in this league. It taught us some good lessons and it particularly showed that we need to make sure we have longer periods with the ball.”

Cambridge return to action on Saturday (November 4) with a trip to Ealing Trailfinders, who are the early-season league leaders.



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