It is with a rueful smile and air of reluctance that Richard Hill admits relegation from the Aviva Premiership should be retained and that ring-fencing is not the way forward for the club game.
The Worcester head coach has added his voice to the debate currently engulfing English rugby following the end of the regular season, which saw Newcastle finish bottom of the Premiership despite a strong end to the season.
Under normal circumstances that would mean Falcons would be demoted to the Championship but as things stand that is by no means certain.
For the Premiership’s bottom side to fall through the trapdoor, there has to be a club capable of replacing them, both by winning the second tier play-offs and having a ground that meets the stringent Premier Rugby criteria.
The only club that has a realistic chance of achieving both is Bristol but they trail Cornish Pirates by 21 points going into Sunday’s second leg of the promotion semi-finals.
During a long coaching career Hill has experienced both sides of the equation and says he just about favours movement between the divisions.
“I would keep it but there are so many arguments for and against,” he said.
“There is no doubt that our Premiership lends itself to limited, safety-first rugby – there is no question of that at all. That’s not good for the competition.