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Premiership may be reduced to 10 teams in bid to avert player strike

• Idea to be discussed at Professional Game Board meeting on Wednesday
• Plans would free up internationals to play more matches for their clubs

Reducing the Premiership to 10 teams is one of a host of ideas being floated as a potential solution to the continuing dispute over the length of the domestic season, which has led to the threat of a player strike. It is understood the proposal also includes the possibility of a 10-team Championship coming under the jurisdiction of Premiership Rugby Limited – the second tier is currently run by the Rugby Football Union – and, in theory, a more even distribution of funds across the two divisions.

Cutting two teams from the Premiership is just one of a number of suggestions for restructuring the domestic game – the main focus at Wednesday’s Professional Game Board meeting. The proposals come amid a row over the Premiership’s plans to extend its season to 10 months as part of the new-look global calendar, which will apply from 2020.

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