10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Rotherham were denied promotion last season because their ground was deemed below Premiership standard. This term they had secured the first division title almost a month ago but had to wait until now to learn if they would be promoted.
They will have to tackle the big boys of the Premiership without out-half Ramiro Pez their 24-year-old Italian who has made 14 international appearances in the last three years, has agreed to join Leicester Tigers after two years at the Yorkshire club.
Rotherham will replace Bristol who lost their place in the top flight following defeat to London Irish last weekend. With debts of over #2m, and the prospect that their benefactor Malcolm Pearce is about to withdraw his funding, the future of this famous club looks particularly precarious. Talk of a merger with Bath now look unrealistic. Pearce is to hold a press conference tomorrow (Wednesday) to outline his plans for the future.