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Rugby Football Union closes the Championship door on London Welsh

London Welsh have been removed from English rugby's professional ranks and will immediately forfeit their place in the Championship.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has declared Welsh's position in the second-tier Championship "untenable" after the club failed to convince England's governing body of a sound future financial footing.

The storied London club fell into liquidation in December, before being granted a temporary licence that expired on January 21.

A new board was challenged to provide evidence of funds to pay creditors and clarity on a new business plan, but RFU bosses were left unconvinced.

"It is deeply regrettable that we should arrive at this point, but with London Welsh in liquidation and unable to satisfy conditions to compete in The Greene King IPA Championship as a professional club, participation in the competition became untenable," said RFU chairman Andy Cosslett.

"We know this will be an extremely disappointing day for everyone connected with London Welsh, including players, staff and supporters, and the sadness at the loss of this club from the professional ranks will be shared throughout the game."

Welsh became one of the amateur domestic game's glamour clubs in the 1960s and 70s, boasting Wales stars like John Dawes, JPR Williams, Gerald Davies and John Taylor.

But the Old Deer Park outfit have struggled to move with the times and falling into liquidation in December has now proved fatal to their professional status.

An RFU statement read: "Following the appointment of liquidators in December 2016, a temporary licence was granted by the RFU to London Welsh, via a "Phoenix Entity", to enable participation in The Greene King IPA Championship.

"The licence expired on January 21, 2017. The conditions required by the RFU regulations to enable London Welsh to continue to participate in the competition following the expiry of the temporary licence have not been met - despite the RFU granting two extensions to deadlines - and, with regret, London Welsh will no longer be granted permission to play in The Greene King IPA Championship for the remainder of this season and beyond."

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