Greene King IPA Championship fixtures confirmed for 2017/18

  • Fixtures confirmed for GK IPA Championship
  • First time there will be no end-of-season play-off
  • Bristol will face Hartpury College in Round One

Fixtures for the 2017/18 Greene King IPA Championship season have been confirmed and for the first time since the competition's inception there will be no end-of-season play-offs between the top four teams.

The competition will be played over 22 rounds, beginning the first weekend of September and culminating on the last weekend in April next year.

As of next season, the club that finishes top of the table will be crowned Greene King IPA Championship winners, and earn promotion to the Aviva Premiership, if they satisfy the Minimum Standards Criteria.

“As we continue with our planning and preparation for next season, it’s clear that there’s a great deal to be excited about,” said Chairman of the Greene King IPA Championship, Geoff Irvine.

“With next season being the first one without the play-offs - which have been replaced by a new prize money incentive - the competition among teams will be as high as ever as they look to play for their stake in the winning fund and secure their position in the league at the end of the season.”

Season openers

Bristol Rugby will return to the competition following a 36-21 defeat to Wasps at Ashton Gate in April, and they will face newcomers Hartpury College in the opening round of next season’s competition, following the Gloucestershire side's promotion from National League One.

Last season’s runners up, Yorkshire Carnegie, will face London Scottish in Richmond in their season opener. Bryan Redpath’s side suffered a 55-48 defeat to London Irish in the second leg of the play-off final last month.

Elsewhere in the competition, Jersey Reds will host Doncaster Knights, who secured their top-four spot following a narrow 24-20 win when the two sides last met in April, and Ealing Trailfinders welcome Cornish Pirates to Trailfinders Sports Ground.

Rotherham Titans will travel to Lady Bay Sports Ground for their season opener against Nottingham while Richmond kick-off their campaign away to Bedford Blues.

"Next season will be an exciting one for the Greene King IPA Championship. We have been working alongside the clubs to identify positive opportunities to develop and grow the competition," said Nigel Melville, Director of Professional Rugby at the Rugby Football Union.

"With more movement of Elite Academy Players now available across the top three tiers of the game, we hope to see an rising number of young academy players playing Championship rugby next season.

"We have also been working behind the scenes to provide the competition with increased marketing support, taking the competiton to a wider audience.”

2017/18 Greene King IPA Championship fixtures:

Round 1 – 1/2/3 Sep-17

London Scottish v Yorkshire Carnegie

Rotherham Titans v Nottingham Rugby

Jersey Reds v Doncaster Knights

Bristol Rugby v Hartpury College

Ealing Trailfinders v Cornish Pirates

Richmond v Bedford Blues

Round 2 – 8/9/10 Sep-17

Nottingham Rugby v Yorkshire Carnegie

Richmond v Ealing Trailfinders

Cornish Pirates v Bristol Rugby

Hartpury College v Jersey Reds

Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans

Bedford Blues v London Scottish

Round 3 - 15/16/17 Sep-17

London Scottish v Nottingham Rugby

Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster Knights

Rotherham Titans v Hartpury College

Jersey Reds v Cornish Pirates

Bristol Rugby v Richmond

Ealing Trailfinders v Bedford Blues

Round 4 – 22/23/24 Sep-17

Hartpury College v Yorkshire Carnegie

Doncaster Knights v Nottingham Rugby

Bedford Blues v Bristol Rugby

Richmond v Jersey Reds

Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans

Ealing Trailfinders v London Scottish

Round 5 – 29/30/1 Sep/Oct-17

London Scottish v Doncaster Knights

Nottingham Rugby v Hartpury College

Yorkshire Carnegie v Cornish Pirates

Rotherham Titans v Richmond

Jersey Reds v Bedford Blues

Bristol Rugby v Ealing Trailfinders

Round 6 – 6/7/8 Oct-17

Richmond v Yorkshire Carnegie

Cornish Pirates v Nottingham Rugby

Hartpury College v Doncaster Knights

Ealing Trailfinders v Jersey Reds

Bedford Blues v Rotherham Titans

Bristol Rugby v London Scottish

Round 7 – 27/28/29 Oct-17

London Scottish v Hartpury College

Doncaster Knights v Cornish Pirates

Nottingham Rugby v Richmond

Yorkshire Carnegie v Bedford Blues

Rotherham Titans v Ealing Trailfinders

Jersey Reds v Bristol Rugby

Round 8 – 10/11/12 Nov-17

Ealing Trailfinders v Yorkshire Carnegie

Bedford Blues v Nottingham Rugby

Richmond v Doncaster Knights

Cornish Pirates v Hartpury College

Bristol Rugby v Rotherham Titans

Jersey Reds v London Scottish

Round 9 – 17/18/18 Nov-17

London Scottish v Cornish Pirates

Hartpury College v Richmond

Doncaster Knights v Bedford Blues

Nottingham Rugby v Ealing Trailfinders

Yorkshire Carnegie v Bristol Rugby

Rotherham Titans v Jersey Reds

Round 10 – 24/25/26 Nov-17

Jersey Reds v Yorkshire Carnegie

Bristol Rugby v Nottingham Rugby

Ealing Trailfinders v Doncaster Knights

Bedford Blues v Hartpury College

Richmond v Cornish Pirates

Rotherham Titans v London Scottish

Round 11 – 1/2/3 Dec-17

London Scottish v Richmond

Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues

Hartpury College v Ealing Trailfinders

Doncaster Knights v Bristol Rugby

Nottingham Rugby v Jersey Reds

Yorkshire Carnegie v Rotherham Titans

Round 12 – 22/23/24 Dec-17

Yorkshire Carnegie v Nottingham Rugby

Rotherham Titans v Doncaster Knights

Jersey Reds v Hartpury College>

Bristol Rugby v Cornish Pirates

Ealing Trailfinders v Richmond

London Scottish v Bedford Blues

Round 13 – 29/30/31 Dec-17

Doncaster Knights v Yorkshire Carnegie

Bedford Blues v Ealing Trailfinders

Richmond v Bristol Rugby

Cornish Pirates v Jersey Reds

Hartpury College v Rotherham Titans

Nottingham Rugby v London Scottish

Round 14 – 26/27/28 Jan-18

Nottingham Rugby v Doncaster Knights

Yorkshire Carnegie v Hartpury College

Rotherham Titans v Cornish Pirates

Jersey Reds v Richmond

Bristol Rugby v Bedford Blues

London Scottish v Ealing Trailfinders

Round 15 – 9/10/11 Feb-18

Cornish Pirates v Yorkshire Carnegie

Hartpury College v Nottingham Rugby

Ealing Trailfinders v Bristol Rugby

Bedford Blues v Jersey Reds

Richmond v Rotherham Titans

Doncaster Knights v London Scottish

Round 16 – 16/17/18 Feb-18

Doncaster Knights v Hartpury College

Nottingham Rugby v Cornish Pirates

Yorkshire Carnegie v Richmond

Rotherham Titans v Bedford Blues

Jersey Reds v Ealing Trailfinders

London Scottish v Bristol Rugby

Round 17 – 2/3/4 Mar-18

Bedford Blues v Yorkshire Carnegie

Richmond v Nottingham Rugby

Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights

Bristol Rugby v Jersey Reds

Ealing Trailfinders v Rotherham Titans

Hartpury College v London Scottish

Round 18 – 16/17/18 Mar-18

Hartpury College v Cornish Pirates

Doncaster Knights v Richmond

Nottingham Rugby v Bedford Blues

Yorkshire Carnegie v Ealing Trailfinders

London Scottish v Jersey Reds

Rotherham Titans v Bristol Rugby

Round 19 – 23/24/25 Mar-18

Bristol Rugby v Yorkshire Carnegie

Ealing Trailfinders v Nottingham Rugby

Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights

Richmond v Hartpury College

Jersey Reds v Rotherham Titans

Cornish Pirates v London Scottish

Round 20 – 6/7/8 Apr-18

Cornish Pirates v Richmond

Hartpury College v Bedford Blues

Doncaster Knights v Ealing Trailfinders

Nottingham Rugby v Bristol Rugby

Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey Reds

London Scottish v Rotherham Titans

Round 21 – 13/14/15 Apr-18

Rotherham Titans v Yorkshire Carnegie

Jersey Reds v Nottingham Rugby

Bristol Rugby v Doncaster Knights

Ealing Trailfinders v Hartpury College

Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates

Richmond v London Scottish

Round 22 – 28 Apr-18

Bedford Blues v Richmond

Cornish Pirates v Ealing Trailfinders

Hartpury College v Bristol Rugby

Doncaster Knights v Jersey Reds

Nottingham Rugby v Rotherham Titans

Yorkshire Carnegie v London Scottish

NB: All kick-off times and match dates to be confirmed by the clubs.

The British & Irish Cup 2017/18 fixtures will be announced separately at a later date.