New structure for Kingstone Press League 1 next year

Match action from Hemel Stags' defeat to Oldham. Picture (c) Kevin Read
Match action from Hemel Stags' defeat to Oldham. Picture (c) Kevin Read

Rugby League’s most geographically diverse competition, Kingstone Press League 1, will embark on its brand new structure when the competition gets under way in March next year.

2016 sees the introduction of a split after 15 rounds, with the top-eight playing each other once and the top two after seven rounds battling it out for the first promotion spot to the Kingstone Press Championship.

Match action from Hemel Stags' defeat to Oldham. Picture (c) Kevin Read

Match action from Hemel Stags' defeat to Oldham. Picture (c) Kevin Read

The loser enters a four-team playoff against the fifth-placed team, while second and third battle it out for a place in the second playoff final – with the victors securing promotion.

The bottom seven after 15 rounds, who will be playing for the inaugural League 1 Shield, will tussle with each team twice – once home and once away – and first and second after seven rounds will go head-to-head for the League 1 Shield.

As well as a new structure, League 1 sees the introduction of Toulouse Olympique XIII who open the new season hosting Coventry Bears at the Stades des Minimes on Saturday, March 5.

Toulouse, who previously played in the Championship between 2009 and 2011, will not compete in the iPro Sport Cup but will enter the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in the third round along with the other 14 League 1 clubs.

With League 1 now a 15-team competition, bye rounds will be introduced for every team, and Hemel Stags have a bye week in Round One.

To view the full fixtures for 2016 please visit rugbyleaguechampionships.co.uk