Gallagher Premiership: Ugo Monye says ring-fencing is 'not right'

Ugo Monye
Monye spent 13 seasons with Harlequins, one of which was in the Championship after they were relegated from the top tier in 2005

Former England and Harlequins wing Ugo Monye says removing relegation from the Premiership would diminish the competition.

"A sport without consequence is not much of a sport," he told Rugby Union Weekly. "There have to be consequences at both ends of the table.

"I am not in favour of closing the shop. It's just not right."

The Rugby Paper reports relegation will be scrapped for this seasonexternal-link because of Covid's effect on the fixture list.

Five games have already been called off this season after outbreaks at clubs.

In such situations, Premiership rugby awards two points to the team that were responsible for cancellation and four points to the opposition.

The English top-flight clubs are in the middle of a three-week break from action, created by the suspension of European competition in light of coronavirus' resurgence across the continent.

The latest released results from the Premiership's screening programme showed 18 positive tests across nine of the league's 12 clubs.

Bath have had to close their training ground and send their players into self-isolation after a number tested positive in this week's yet-to-be-released results.

It has been reported that some clubs have taken legal advice over the possibility of being relegated in a season affected by multiple cancellations.

Bottom of the Premiership
6.Leicester15 points
7.Harlequins14
8.Northampton13
9.Bath12
10.London Irish12
11.Worcester9
12.Gloucester6

But Monye believes doing away with relegation would devalue the season and damage the top flight's image.

"I love the jeopardy at the top as much as I love the fight, tussle and hustle at the bottom of it," he added.

"That is what I have always known. That is the league I have enjoyed as a player and now as a fan."

Six Nations bubble will put strain on players - Care

Former England scrum-half Danny Care says that the requirement for players to enter an eight-week isolation bubble to play in the Six Nations will force some into tough decisions.

England coach Eddie Jones will announce a 28-man squad on Friday, which will remain the same for the duration of the tournament.

"There is no going in and out of camp, no popping home to see family for a few days," said Care on Rugby Union Weekly.

"It is going to be tough and there will be some players who are not fully comfortable with it. It is a long time to be away especially if you have got family and kids in lockdown."

Care highlighted Bristol scrum-half Harry Randall as a possible call-up to the squad.

Harry Randall
Randall has excelled at the heart of Bristol's high-tempo style this season

The 23-year-old qualifies for both England and Wales and has yet to be capped by either.

"He plays with an unbelievable tempo," said Care.

"I don't know if that fits in with how England want to play but as a fan and someone who loves to see scrum-halves running with the ball, taking quick taps and bringing other players into the game, he is doing it better than anyone in the Premiership."