- Leeds Carnegie vs Bedford Blues, Sunday March 25
- Championship promotion and relegations battles hot up
Photo: RFU Archive
The beginning of March sees the beginning of the second stage of the Championship season – the play-off groups.
Teams from Pool A and Pool B will compete to clinch the Championship title and secure promotion to the Aviva Premiership while Pool C will decide which team is relegated into SSE National League 1.
The clash between Leeds Carnegie and Bedford Blues on Sunday March 25 at Headingley promises to excite both club supporters and neutral fans alike.
The Yorkshire side did the double over Bedford during the league stage winning 45-28 at Goldington Road and 21-17 at home, but having finished second in the league the Blues will be out to make amends.
Leeds, who boast former England defence coach Mike Ford among their coaching staff, have their eyes firmly set on an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership this season but, as they proved in their 2012-11 semi-final against Worcester Warriors, Bedford will pose the toughest of challenges.
The end-of-season fixture list is packed with what is set to be the closest play-off stage to date.
Other highlights include the clash between Cornish Pirates and Rotherham Titans at The Mennaye on March 25, while the first Friday evening game of stage 2 will see Doncaster host Bristol. The all-Yorkshire clash between Leeds Carnegie and Rotherham Titans will be broadcast live on Sky Sports on Sunday March 18.