Automatic top 4 promotion in Championship 1

The top four teams will be promoted from Championship 1 this season, ahead of the league’s expansion in 2013.

The member clubs are believed to have voted for straight promotion, rather than the previous, more complex, play-off scenario, which would have seen the league champions and Grand Final winners promoted, and then the highest placed next best play-off achievers.

There will still be minimum standards to meet for those hoping to move up to the Championship, as four new clubs enter Championship 1 from outside of the game’s traditional heartlands.

Three Cumbrian clubs and two Welsh clubs are part of the 10-team Championship 1 this season, which will have games televised by Premier Sports.

In previous seasons, the league champions and Grand Final winners have been promoted to the Championship, with Swinton and Keighley going up last term.

There was no automatic relegation from the Championship last season, with Barrow dropping down due to financial irregularities, and Crusaders reforming following the collapse of the Super League club.

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