Premier Rugby have announced a change to the end-of-season structure for the 2005/06 Guinness Premiership campaign.
The Premiership semi-final and wildcard semi-finals, which have taken place over the past three years, have been replaced by straight Premiership semi-finals.
Under the new format, the team finishing top after 22 league games will have a home tie against the side finishing fourth, and the second-placed finishers will land a home game against the team finishing third.
Both fixtures will be straight knock-out matches, with the winners then contesting the Premiership final at Twickenham.
"Whenever we are asked about the end-of-season structure, we always maintain it is constantly reviewed," said Premier Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty.
"When we discussed it at the end of last season, we felt we wanted to simplify the structure for a number of reasons.
"We have had a number of issues over the past few seasons with scheduling wild-card games and how European finals, which come after our matches, affect qualification.
"We have had lucky losers in the past, and last season we narrowly avoided a 'dead rubber', neither of which is particularly edifying for the game or easy to understand for our supporters," he added.
"We also wanted to treat the teams at the top of the table equitably by giving them the same playing and rest patterns. This way, the top four teams will all have a semi-final, and potentially a final, with the same gap in between."
If English clubs win the European Cup and European Challenge Cup this season, then they will be joined in the European Cup for the following campaign by the top four Premiership finishers and the Powergen Cup winners.