NATIONAL League 1 - which is to feature newly-promoted Taunton Titans next season - is set to be reduced from 16 to 14 teams in the 2021/22 campaign.

This proposal is included in the RFU (Rugby Football Union) Future Competitions Structure Group’s recommendation paper on the adult male competitions structure, designed for implementation in the 2021/22 season.

Following consultation with clubs and players over the last nine months, the RFU acknowledges that players are playing fewer games each season due to “lifestyle reasons and modern day demands on time”.

The proposals include reducing league sizes, introducing league break weekends and organising leagues in such a way as to minimise teams’ travel time.

Level 3 (National 1) is to be trimmed from 16 teams to 14, as is Level 4, which will see two leagues (National 2 North and South) become three.

Levels 5 (which includes South West Premier) and 6 (including South West 1 West, featuring Bridgwater & Albion, North Petherton and Wellington) are both to shrink in size from 14 teams to 12; four divisions at Level 5 will become six, and eight at Level 5 are to become 12.

Level 7 and below - including Western Counties West, Somerset Premier, Somerset 1, Somerset 2 South and Somerset 3 South - are to feature a minimum of 16 divisions (depending on new entries), with 10-12 teams in each, depending on effect of regionalisation and local need.

New cup competitions are also to be introduced at Levels 5 and 6, and along with Level 7 and below, their league season is to run from September to March, with cup competitions being played through to the start of May.

Feedback is now being sought, ahead of the RFU Council decision on Friday, October 2, 2020.