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County Championships

Competition Overview

Bill Beaumont Cup

Photo: RFU Archive

The longest standing competition run by the RFU, the County Championship has a long and distinguished history of over 100 years and has featured many of the great names of English Rugby. 

The County Championships consists of two competitions which are open to County Constituent Body’s full representative teams. The County Championship provides players with a unique opportunity to play representative rugby and players who shine in the competition can be selected to represent the England Counties XV.

The Bill Beaumont Cup is the highest level of the County Championship and was named in honour of Bill Beaumont, a former England and British & Irish Lions captain.

The Bill Beaumont Cup consists of 1st and 2nd division. The teams that enter this competition are divided into geographic rules (North and South). The teams play each other once only and the two pool winners compete in the final. The winners of the Bill Beaumont Cup division two are automatically promoted to division one in the following season. Likewise, the bottom two teams in division one are relegated to division two.

The County Championship Shield involves counties that are only able to select players from clubs at level five and below. The teams involved are divided geographically into pools and play each other once either home or away with the top four teams, progressing to the semi-finals.

Player eligibility is based on the birth of a player within the geographical county boundary, place of residence, by having played for the county in a previous tournament or effective registration with a club allocated to the county. Click on the following link to read the full player eligibility regulations for the County Championship (PDF 404kB).

For additional information take a look at the fixtures and results section on For images and poster templates for the County Championships please take a look in the resources and downloads page.


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