England cancel 2019-20 season at all levels below Premiership

A decision on how the thorny issue of promotion and relegation will be handled is due in mid-April

The 2019-20 season in England has been cut short at all levels below the Premiership. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
The 2019-20 season in England has been cut short at all levels below the Premiership. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THE RFU have followed the lead set by the IRFU on Thursday afternoon by bring the shutters down on all league, cup and county rugby for the 2019-20 season in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with the only exception being the Gallagher Premiership – with a more autonomous ownership model – who are in discussion with the governing body about their next step.

“In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer term planning, the Rugby Football Union is announcing the end of the 201920 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England,” said RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney, in a statement issued this [Friday] morning.  “The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.

“When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.

“We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game.  We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April. While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game.  Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs.”

There is still no news from Murrayfield on what their next step is.

Ireland call time on 2019-20 domestic season with immediate effect – will Scotland follow suit?

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1874 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

1 Comment

  1. David

    Might be worth publishing the whole statement? It is lengthy but the openness of how difficult it will be for the RFU is laid bare here.

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