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Ben Ward claims RFU lacks leadership

Ben Ward claims RFU lacks leadership as he expresses frustration at bosses denying Championship winning Jersey the chance to mix it with the elite based on strict criteria

  • Jersey won the Championship ahead of Ealing but cannot play amongst the elite
  • Their St Peter’s ground holds 4,000, below the 10,000 demanded by chiefs
  • Ealing had threatened to sue the RFU is they were denied promotion once again 

Ben Ward revealed his frustration at the failure of rugby bosses to once more allow the winners of the Championship to fulfil their dream of a place in the top flight.

Jersey, who Ward’s Ealing side defeated 35-31 on Saturday to lift the Championship Cup, pipped the London club to the title but have been denied a place amongst the elite due to the fact they cannot meet strict criteria set by the RFU.

Just like Ealing, who have been blocked from rising up in previous seasons, their St Peter’s ground has a capacity of just 4,000 — well below the 10,000 demanded by rugby chiefs to let them rub shoulders with the likes of Saracens, Leicester and Northampton.

Ealing had threatened to sue the RFU if they were denied promotion to the Premiership again if they, and not Jersey, had won this season’s title.

Ward, banging the drum for the Championship, claimed: ‘It is there for all to see right now. I’d love to say what I’d like but I get myself in trouble. 

Ben Ward has accused the RFU of lacking leadership after Jersey’s promotion was denied

‘Teams like Jersey and ourselves are run properly. They don’t overspend.

‘The Championship is in really good health right now with a few clubs pushing. This game shows what a good league it is right now with two teams on a certain level.

‘We’ve played each other five times now (Ealing and Jersey) and it would be nice to have a bit more support for this level. 

‘Sadly we need some leadership!’