Newcastle Falcons will not be relegated from the Premiership, despite finishing bottom of the league.
London Welsh were the only side that could have replaced the Falcons but their bid for promotion has been rejected.
Welsh would have had to beat Cornish Pirates in the Championship playoff final and find a new stadium in which to play.
They had hoped to share Oxford United’s ‘Kassam Stadium’ but the RFU have deemed it unsuitable for Premiership rugby.
A statement from the RFU said that after an independent audit the club did not fit the 'Minimum Standards Criteria (MSC)' for entry into the Premiership.
The statement also said that the "The independent auditors identified various failures, including not having Primacy of Tenure at their nominated ground.
"This states that a club must demonstrate that they can host home fixtures at the time stipulated by Premiership Rugby and/or the host broadcaster."
The London side have 14 days to appeal against the decision.
But, they have suggested they would consider legal action if their application was turned down.
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